Julius Peppers Remained in Panthers Locker Room During Anthem

Julius Peppers Remained in Panthers Locker Room During Anthem

Julius Peppers Remained in Panthers Locker Room During Anthem

The Carolina Panthers face their first NFC South test of the regular season this afternoon.

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Bank of America Stadium.

They are exhausted of the same old story with the team.

Now two years removed from his MVP season, quarterback Cam Newton has not looked like the same player from 2015.

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Drew Brees has actually had plenty of success in the first half against this Panthers' secondary and went into halftime with 112 passing yards and two touchdowns. And that has been the entirety of the offense for the Panthers. Rookie running back Christian McCaffrey has yet to factor into the Panthers offense. Granted, the Saints' defense is one of the worst in the league, but their offense always gives them a chance to stay in games, and New Orleans has gained a road warrior reputation for doing well against the number away from home.

The good thing for the Panthers has been their defense.

Newton had been limited at practice during the week after hurting his ankle during the Panthers' Week 2 win over the Buffalo Bills last Sunday. The issue isn't with the Saints being able to move the ball, as long as Brees is back there it's going to happen. Keeping those numbers up against someone like quarterback Drew Brees will be a tough task.

In another hard-fought game, make it Panthers 28, Saints 24.

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Last season, even as Newton became a human pinata for head-hunting defenses, the Panthers still averaged 23.1 points. The New Orleans Saints are the worst in the National Football League at covering running backs out of the backfield. Kamara has had more catches so far, but Lewis has made great catches in traffic for big yards.

As much as the Saints need a win, it would be a big surprise to see them get the first this week.

Many pundits expect to see a different Carolina offense Sunday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, citing the Saints' defense (512.5 ypg/32.5 ppg) is nothing more than an annoying speed bump and will be the flawless tonic for Newton and versatile rookie running back/punt returner Christian McCaffrey, among others.

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