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Carolina Panthers

Know Your Foe: New Orleans Saints

Derek Carr

CHARLOTTE – The Panthers return to Bank of America Stadium for their home opener with a second-straight divisional foe this Monday.

Carolina (0-1) will play the New Orleans Saints (1-0) on Monday Night Football at 7:15 p.m. in Charlotte, taking on a second opponent from the NFC South after falling to the Falcons in Atlanta last Sunday.

The Panthers are 28-29 all-time against the Saints, with a 14-14 record at home. Carolina beat New Orleans the last time they matched up at Bank of America Stadium in Sept. 2022.

Here's what to know about the Saints:

Close win over the Titans

The Saints eked out a Week 1 win against the Titans behind a stronger second-half performance after failing to score a touchdown in the first two quarters.

Tennessee kept New Orleans' offense largely stifled in the first half, as the Saints put up 143 yards through 30 minutes. But the Saints' defense kept it competitive, intercepting Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill, blocking a Tennessee punt, and sacking Tannehill twice in the first half.

New Orleans cleaned up a number of miscues in the third and fourth quarters, scoring the game's only touchdown and keeping quarterback Derek Carr from taking any more sacks. (The Saints' offensive line allowed four sacks in the first half.)

They made big plays when they needed to, including the touchdown to Rashid Shaheed, a 41-yard completion to Shaheed on third down late in the game, and another third-down run from running back Jamaal Williams to seal a 16-15 victory over the Titans.

"I think early on in the game ... I don't know we did as good a job as we needed to, in terms of getting protection for (Derek Carr)," New Orleans head coach Dennis Allen said in an article posted on the Saints' website. "Once we kind of settled that in a little more, I thought you saw in the second half a little bit more effectiveness in the passing game. We felt like there might be some opportunities downfield."

New faces added on offense

The Saints acquired Carr, the former Raider, from free agency in the offseason, and he gradually built up in his New Orleans debut last week.

Carr threw the game's lone touchdown, a 19-yard pass to Shaheed, and finished his day going 23-for-33 with 305 passing yards, a touchdown, and an interception. He was sacked four times in the first half, though, as the Saints' offensive line took time to settle in against Tennessee.

The Saints brought in Williams after he posted a strong year with the Lions in 2022, hauling in a career-high 17 touchdowns on 1,066 rushing yards for the season. He ran the ball for 45 yards on 18 attempts against Tennessee, totaling just 2.5 yards per attempt in Week 1, but he came up with a late 11-yard rush on third down that helped New Orleans win the close matchup.

Second-year receiver Chris Olave showed he'll be a passing game threat once again this season, leading the way for wideouts with 112 yards on eight catches. Shaheed was close behind with 89 yards on five receptions.

Marshon Lattimore

Strong defense in Week 1

The Saints' defense played a starring role against Tennessee, coming up with three interceptions between cornerback Marshon Lattimore, cornerback Paulson Adebo, and safety Marcus Maye.

They also never allowed Tennessee to reach the end zone, as they produced three red zone stops that ended with the Titans putting up just five field goals Sunday.

The Titans put up 285 yards of total offense against the Saints and converted just 2-of-12 on third down.

"Our defense is something special," Lattimore said in an article posted to the Saints' website. "We've just got to keep growing, keep showing everybody we're one of the best defenses, if not the best defense, in the league."

The Panthers trail the all-time series against the Saints, 27-29. Carolina has played New Orleans more than any other team in its history.

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