What pivotal matchups could decide the Carolina Panthers' clash against the New Orleans Saints in Week 2 on Monday Night Football?
Well, that started off promising.
The 2023 season began well for the Carolina Panthers. They stopped the Atlanta Falcons dead in their tracks on the first possesion, which was followed up by a stellar looking drive down the field that featured heavy doses of a revitalized run game and a seemingly resurgent Terrace Marhsall Jr.
However, this didn't last. With all of the hype and potential of a rookie quarterback you have to take the growing pains and boy, were they painful.
On a day where the Falcons passing attack was about as effective as a screen door on a submarine, the Panthers gift wrapped the game. This was thanks to a pair of incredibly costly interceptions thrown to Jessie Bates III by Bryce Young.
Without those two mistakes, there is no telling how this game may have ended. But that is all speculation at this point - all we can do is look forward and reflect on what can be learned.
While the pass defense looked decent enough against less than average competition, but the Panthers once again lost its best cornerback to injury once Jaycee Horn found himself on the ground. This begs the question of if it is even worth keeping around the injury prone cornerback at this point. More about that later.
Without furtehr ado, here are three matchups will be key to the Panthers getting a win in Week 2 and righting the ship against what will be the toughest test in the division this season.