3 pivotal matchups that will decide Carolina Panthers vs. Saints in Week 2

Bryce Young
Bryce Young / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers CB C.J. Henderson vs. Saints WRs

The Carolina Panthers once again find themselves leaning on the abilities of C.J. Henderson to try and fill the gap left by Jaycee Horn. That is something no fan ever wanted to see again after how disastrous it was last season.

I won't rehash the same arguments against Henderson. It has been evident constantly just how limited the once promising corner is at this point in his career. However, that doesn't detract from the fact that the troubled player provides a massive weak point for opposing teams to target.

Just take a look at how the game changed, even with the dissapointing play of Desmond Ridder, once Horn was forced to the sidelines. The Atlanta Falcons immediately began to capitalize on Henderson's coverage and started to get a rhythm going on offense. Now just imagine how that will look against Derek Carr and the dynamic weapons at his disposal.

Carr was able to throw for more than 300 yards against one of the better defensive teams in the league in Week 1. And that's without much of a run game to speak of. This is something that won't be a concern against the Panthers.

If you put Donte Jackson on Chris Olave, then you have to trust Henderson against Michael Thomas or vice versa. There is no good decision for the Panthers as neither option will end well for this team. Even if Brian Burns is able to terrorize the offensive line.

This game will live and die on the performance of Henderson. Something that he should be painfully aware of.