Take New Orleans +7 away vs. Carolina
New Orleans has once again found themselves in a 0-2 hole for the 4th straight year, as New England took them down on their home turf 36-20. Carolina was able to get the win in their home opener, defeating Buffalo 9-3. Drew Brees had a great game, throwing for 356 yds and 2 TDs, but their defense continues to fail them as they allowed 555 total yards to the high-powered NE offense. Carolina’s defense continues to shine on the other hand, as they held their opponent to 3 pts for 2 straight games leading the NFL with 6 pts allowed through week 2.
When you look at who these teams have faced to start the season, it’s easy to see why their records are what they are. New Orleans had to go into Minnesota and then play at home against the Super Bowl champs. Carolina had to go to San Francisco, one of the worst teams in the NFL, and followed that with a home game against Buffalo, who has no offensive weapons besides LeSean McCoy. Brees will provide a much tougher test for the Carolina defense and should be able to put up a lot more than 3 pts. There’s also a huge hole now in Carolina’s offense with Greg Olsen out with a broken foot (had 3 consecutive seasons of 1,000 yds). Even with Christian McCaffrey and Kelvin Benjamin along with Olsen the first two weeks, Newton hasn’t been himself after shoulder surgery: he’s thrown for only 399 yds in two games with a sub-60% completion percentage. New Orleans will be fighting for a victory to avoid a 0-3 start and will have a good shot against their division rival. Expect a tight game here, so even if NO loses they should be able to keep it within a TD with Brees under center if they don’t win outright.