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First Look: Saints at Panthers

Week 3 sees the Saints trying to rebound after a tough home loss, but they'll have to do it against another NFC South rival.

The Saints (1-1) face their third straight NFC South opponent to open the season on Sunday when they take on the Panthers (0-2) in Charlotte. New Orleans put forth an incredible defensive effort against Tampa, but offensively they couldn't get things going. Here's a few things we're looking out for leading up Week 3's contest.

What to Watch For

HEALTH: This looks to be the week the Saints get back Paulson Adebo from an ankle injury, but we'll have to wait and see if he hits the practice field on Wednesday. The team could also get Tre'Quan Smith (shoulder) back in the mix. Two areas that we'll really play close attention to is with Alvin Kamara (rib) and Marcus Maye (wrist). Maye left early on Sunday after being in the medical tent and had a towel over his head. As for Kamara, the encouraging news was that he was a part of pre-game stretching on Sunday, so he could return as well.

PASS RUSH: The Saints have not been a blitzing team two weeks into the season, and this looks like the game that we'll see it come through. Remember that the pass rush started slow last year, and really came on in a big way during that Seahawks road game. The run defense was much better against the Bucs, and they'll have their hands full with Christian McCaffery. Overall, there were a lot of encouraging plays from the Saints defense last week. They did everything they could, and they'll be key in helping the team win against the Panthers.

OFFENSIVE CONSISTENCY: Two weeks into the season, and the offense needs to find their identity. Some of this could be attributed to getting used to each other, but there's work to be done. Jameis Winston takes center stage here, and it's not time to hit the panic button. Let's see how he responds against Carolina before jumping to crazy conclusions. Any time you turn the ball over 5 times in a game, you aren't going to win. Mark Ingram and Chris Olave had fumbles in this one, but Ingram's totally changed the momentum of the game.

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EXTENDED TRAVEL: Similar to 2017, the Saints are expected to leave from Charlotte to go to London for the week leading up to their game against the Vikings in Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Meanwhile, the Vikings aren't expected to get in until later in the week. This should be a good experience for all involved, and a win against the Panthers will make it a lot more enjoyable.


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