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By the Numbers: Panthers Pounced on Saints Struggling Offense

A look inside the numbers of the New Orleans Saints' loss to the Carolina Panthers in Week 3.

On Sunday, The New Orleans Saints (1-2) dropped their Week 3 matchup 22-14 to the Carolina Panthers (1-2). This marks the Saints' second consecutive loss to an NFC South opponent and snaps a nine-game losing streak for the Panthers.

The loss is New Orleans' first NFC South road loss since losing to the Panthers in Week 2 of the 2021 NFL regular season.

Let's dive deeper into the Saints' second regular-season loss numbers.

2: Through 3 Weeks the Saints Have 2 Fourth Quarter Rushing Attempts

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New Orleans has only led for 19 seconds in the fourth quarter of any game this season. Thus, while playing catch-up in all three contests, it has been nearly impossible for the Saints to run the ball in the fourth quarter. 

Frankly, the Saints' offense needs to find rhythm and balance, not just in the fourth quarter but for a full 60 minutes. The lack of rushing attempts down the stretch is eye-opening and mind-boggling, even with playing from behind. 

However, this will be a challenge for the Saints' lackluster offense. How do they control the tempo? How will they establish the run? How will they ensure it is not abandoned late in the game? All those questions need to be answered in Week 4.

4: New Orleans has been Shut Out in the 1st Half in 4 of the last 20 Contests

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Through three weeks of the 2022 NFL season, the New Orleans Saints offense has struggled to start strong. As a result, the Black and Gold were shut out in the first half in four of their last twenty contests.

A struggling Saints offense is not something the Who Dat Nation has become accustomed to seeing over the past two decades. During the Brees-Payton Era (2006-2020), the Saints have been shut out in the first half just four times in the 228 games Brees started in the Big Easy.

Alvin Kamara said following the loss that the Saints are "shooting themselves in the foot." And though that may be the case, New Orleans' offense has too many weapons on paper for the offensive struggles to continue. New Orleans will attempt to score a first-quarter touchdown for the first time this season in London against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

147: Chris Olave's 147 Receiving Yards are 5th Most by a Saints Rookie in a Game

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After a sour taste in his mouth following a late-game fumble in Week 2, Olave posted a career day against Carolina by leading the Saints in receptions and yards. The 11th overall selection in April's Draft recorded 13 targets for the second consecutive week and pieced together one of a Saints rookie's most outstanding single-game performances.

Olave joined Marques Colston, Larry Burton, Tre'Quan Smith, and Michael Thomas as the only Saints rookie wide-outs to collect 147 or more receiving yards in a single game. Following the stellar outing, the former Buckeye now leads the Saints in both receptions and receiving yards for the season.

With Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry leaving Sunday's game with injuries, look for Olave's role to continue to increase. While there is no current update on either Thomas or Landry's injuries, Olave could see himself as the Saints' No. 1 receiver in Week 4.


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