Winston struggles as Panthers maul Saints

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Matthew Tate

Jameis Winston struggled immensely in Charlotte as the Carolina Panthers blew out the Saints.

Zachary Brandwein, Staff Reporter

The New Orleans Saints suffered their first defeat of the season as they fell to the Carolina Panthers 26-7. Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns, and their superstar running back Christian McCaffrey added 72 yards rushing and a touchdown. 

After a huge first week which saw his MVP odds go from +3000 to +1600, Saints quarterback Jameis Winston fell back to reality. He went 11-22 passing for only 111 yards, with no touchdowns and two interceptions. The Saints offense only put up seven points, which came from a Darnold interception in his own territory, giving New Orleans a short field. Superstar running back Alvin Kamara did not seem like that much of a superstar, totaling 30 yards from scrimmage on eight carries for five yards, and four receptions for 25 yards

The Saints are also missing their number one receiver, Michael Thomas, due to injury, which played a big factor in the lack of passing game. Marquez Callaway was the only receiver/tight end with multiple catches, and he had two. 

Darnold’s revenge tour is going well so far, much to the dismay of Saints fans. So far this season, he has a touchdown-interference ratio of 3:1, and through his two games as a Panther his quarterback rating  is 100.5, 16 points higher than his previous career high of 84.3. Besides Darnold’s great performance, the Panthers defense shut down the high flying Saints offense. Carolina sacked Winston four times, and stuffed any rushing attack the Saints attempted to create. The Panthers improved to 3-0 last Thursday, when they defeated the Texans in Houston. 

The Saints play the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Massachusetts in week three, but then they make their much anticipated home debut against the New York Giants on Sept. 26.  The Patriots dominated the New York Jets in their last game, winning 25-6.