Saints vs. Panthers: What to Watch For From the Start

As we transition to the next game let's start with a few things to watch for as signs of improvement from week 1. It may seem we have a ton to work on based on the ugly performance but if you follow this blog daily you know we have broken it down for you in a number of ways. Here's 4 key things to look for in our home opener right out of the gate:

1. Running between the tackles - We have usually been good at this but last week the Panthers chose instead to attack the edges with zero success. I can't believe Jonathan Stewart's absence was the cause since both DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert have proven they can run inside. It all starts up front and I doubt the Panthers will shy away from the run this early. In fact I'm betting they pound it inside just to make a statement

2. CB Josh Norman starts opposite Chris Gamble - We noted on CSR radio last night the Norman got the start and Captain Munnerlyn played the nickel and played it well I might add. Hence I would imagine he gets another start even facing the vaunted Saints passing attack. It's a scary proposition but let's hope he gets the safety support he needs and doesn't get too aggressive.

More after the jump..

Panthers vs Bucs Inside the Game Book

Panthers vs Bucs Behind the Numbers


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3. Defense 3rd Down Line-ups - The Panthers finished the Bucs game with 2 sacks, 4 hurries and 6 passes defensed. Though its nothing earth shattering its improved from last season but there is plenty of room for improvement. DEs Frank Alexander and Greg Hardy had some success rushing up the middle on 3rd and long so look for those two guys stunting inside on third down. DT Dwan Edwards also got nice push up the middle. When the Panthers force 3rd and long watch to see if we get some push up the middle and get those arms up to block those Drew Brees passes. The Redskins did that well against them last week.

4. Quick Passes - Teams watch film and learn from others what works and what doesn't. You can expect the Saints to try and do on defense what the Bucs did and so Chud/Newton better be ready to use the hot routes a lot more. We should have been running the outlet passes to Tolbert early to keep the LBs from creating but we didn't run those until the 2nd half. I expect to see plays to slow down the rush early in the this game, right out of the gate!

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