The Carolina Panthers are searching for their first takeaway — together with their first win — and historical past suggests New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston may assist them remedy each issues on Sunday.
Winston has struggled mightily all through his profession versus the Panthers.
He’s 4-6 in 10 appearances vs. Carolina with almost twice as many interceptions (16) as touchdowns passes (9). He’s been sacked 36 occasions by the Panthers, turning the ball over eight occasions on fumbles.
Whereas nearly all of his struggles got here as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Winston didn’t fare any higher carrying a Saints jersey final season as he was restricted to 111 yards passing, intercepted twice and sacked 4 occasions in a lopsided 26-7 loss at Carolina.
When is Saints-Panthers?
The Saints play the Buccaneers at midday (1 p.m. ET) Sunday, Sept. 25.
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Will it’s televised?
The Saints and Panthers will probably be televised on Fox.
HEISMAN HYPE: So long as Winston is ready to play by his again damage, the sport will match a pair of QBs, who additionally have been Heisman Trophy winners.
Winston received it within the 2013 season, when he led Florida State to a nationwide title. Mayfield, who started his faculty profession as a walk-on at Texas Tech, received his Heisman in 2017 with Oklahoma.
Each quarterbacks additionally have been general No. 1 draft decisions by groups for which they not play: Winston in 2015 by Tampa Bay, and Mayfield in 2018 by Cleveland.
“I acquired a variety of respect for Baker, only for the story, being a walk-on after which successful the Heisman,” Winston mentioned. “He performs with an incredible quantity of swag, which is thrilling to see as a participant.”
SACKED: Winston was sacked 4 occasions at Atlanta in Week 1, and it solely acquired worse in Week 2, when he was sacked six occasions in a loss to Tampa Bay.
However the quarterback declines to position the blame on his cross safety.
“I felt it was excellent — each the video games,” Winston mentioned. “Our offensive line is stable. I’ve acquired to do a greater job getting the ball out of my fingers.”
Allen has agreed to some extent, saying the blocking hasn’t all the time been on level, however that Winston additionally was indecisive within the pocket at occasions.
BALL SECURITY: Allen has positioned a renewed emphasis on ball safety after seeing the Saints accomplished in by 5 turnovers within the last 17 minutes of their 20-10 loss to Tampa Bay. The sport was tied at 3-3 earlier than the primary of these turnovers.
“We’ve got to know the worth and significance of defending the soccer,” Allen mentioned. “I do know that turnovers are a part of this recreation, they occur, however our complete mindset needs to be that we’ve to restrict these errors that price you from successful video games.”
CHANGING IT UP: With the Panthers passing recreation trying stale, coach Matt Rhule urged it could be time so as to add some broad receivers to the combo.
Meaning Terrace Marshall Jr. and Rashard Higgins may determine into the sport plan this week. To this point nearly the entire reps have gone to D.J. Moore, Robbie Anderson and Shi Smith, who had two key drops in opposition to the New York Giants final week.
“I feel we’ve to begin taking part in extra guys on the receiver place,” Rhule mentioned. “I feel we would like these guys on the market; they’re good gamers for us. However I feel Terrace is approaching, Rashard’s a man we all know can play. We simply in all probability must get these guys on the sector extra.
“We’ve been no-huddle at occasions; it’s onerous to rotate guys in. These guys get worn out, these essential downs, so perhaps on these third downs, we’re not taking part in as quick as we could possibly be taking part in.”
THIRD DOWN ISSUES: The Panthers offense has actually struggled on third downs.
Baker Mayfield is simply 7 of 14 passing for 54 yards with one interception and no touchdowns and the Panthers have transformed simply 26.1% of their alternatives as dropped passes, penalties and down-and-distance points have all led to the shortage of manufacturing.
“I don’t know what our conversion p.c on third down was nevertheless it wasn’t excellent,” Mayfield mentioned. “Getting down there and getting subject objectives as a substitute of touchdowns within the purple zone. That can kill us.”
The Related Press contributed to this report.