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 run defense vs. Saints rushing attack

Even beyond the injuries and the painful rookie mistakes, there was one thing that stood out above all else. The ineptitude of the Carolina Panthers run defense.

There was no answer for the Atlanta Falcons' two-headed rushing attack aside from a couple of nice plays that were very much an outlier. You cannot expect to win in the NFL when the opposition has two running backs average more than five yards a carry. It's simply not sustainable.

Even when it was painfully obvious that the Falcons had lost trust in any kind of passing attack, the Panthers were still unable to slow down the run. That is a concern.

On the off chance that a Panthers happened to be in something resembling the correct position, they were either run around or run over for yet another big gain. I spoke about this at length before the season started, but this team has some serious issues with communication and tackling at the point of attack.

The prospect of facing both Tyler Allgeier and Bijan Robinson twice a year for the forseeable future is a nightmare for any Panthers fan if something doesn't change soon. These struggles could be personnel rather than coaching at this point.

Without a massive jump in overall ability, this has all the makings of aanother difficult afternoon going up against the New Orleans and Jamaal Williams.