Panthers vs. Saints Halftime Notes

The Carolina Panthers were locked in a defensive battle for close to 28 minutes but the New Orleans put up two quick touchdowns at the end of the half to take a 14-0 lead. These are some notes from the first half.

  • This was by far one of the harder hitting first halves I have seen from the Carolina Panthers defense this year. They set the tone early when linebacker Thomas Davis laid out tight end Jimmy Graham on the interception return. However, it seemed as the game went on they lost a bit of that intensity, specifically the last two minutes of the game.

 

  • The biggest storyline of the first half though has been turnovers. The Saints first two drives ended in turnovers (an interception by Dwan Edwards in the red zone, and a fumble recovery by Mario Addison) however the Panthers were not able to turn it into points. The Saints got into the action with an interception and fumble recovery of their own. It was the fourth turnover between the two teams that turned into points off a Mark Ingram rushing touchdown.

 

  • Starting two undrafted rookie offensive linemen right next to each other usually spells disaster. However, left tackle David Foucault and left guard Andrew Norwell have held up fairly well through the first two quarters. Cam Newton’s mobility has certainly helped them in pass coverage but the thing that has impressed me has been their run blocking. On two Jonathan Stewart runs he was able to break off 10+ yards running on the left side of this line.

 

  • Cam Newton has not had a good night and has been very inaccurate, almost right from the start. The first play for the Panthers offense, right after the Edwards’ interception, Newton overthrew a deep pass to Kelvin Benjamin. He finished the first half 5 of 15 for only 47 yards, with one interception and one fumble.


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