A NFC South showdown in Week 3 of the 2022 NFL season.
The Panthers enter this game winless after another painful loss, this time to the New York Giants. While the defense held Saquon Barkely to 72 yards and sacked Daniel Jones three times, the offense was stale. Baker Mayfield completed 14 of his 29 throws for 145 yards and a touchdown, and the Panthers offense only converted two of 12 third-downs. For this team to go anywhere, Mayfield is going to need to produce.
The New Orleans Saints are 1-1 after a 20-10 defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 2. Jameis Winston threw three interceptions in the fourth quarter and that was all she wrote. Winston continues to go for the big play rather than short, easy routes and as he goes so goes the Saints. Hopefully this weekend one of these quarterbacks can produce for a full four quarters.
Here’s everything you need from a betting perspective for the Saints-Panthers game, from the point spread, moneyline, total over/under and expert insight (odds via FOX Bet):
RELATED: Week 3 lines, odds
Point spread: New Orleans -3 (Saints favored to win by more than 3 points, otherwise Panthers cover)
Moneyline: New Orleans -162 favorites to win (bet $10 to win $16.17 total); Panthers +125 underdogs to win (bet $10 to win $22.50 total)
Total scoring over/under: 40.5 points scored by both teams combined
Baker’s Panthers start season at 0-2, time to panic? | THE CARTON SHOW
There were a lot of expectations for several teams in the NFL for the start of the season, but one thing many weren’t expecting were for the Carolina Panthers to be at 0-2 by the end of Week 2.
FOX Sports Betting Analyst Warren Sharp:
Baker Mayfield has been blitzed on 33% of his early downs in the first three quarters, the fourth-highest blitz rate in the NFL this year.
And he receives pressure at the 10th highest rate (36%).
On early downs, when Mayfield is blitzed, he ranks No. 20 in EPA/att (-0.09).
But when he’s not blitzed, he ranks 11th in EPA/att (+0.11).
And Baker has long since had massive splits vs. pressure and without pressure. Since 2020:
Vs pressure: -0.62 EPA/att, 25% success, 5.8 YPA
No pressure: +0.27 EPA/att, 51% success, 7.6 YPA
Unlike years past, this Saints defense simply isn’t getting pressure. Nor are they blitzing.
New Orleans is blitzing on just 8% of QB drops, which ranks 30th.
And they’re getting pressure at a 9.9% rate, which ranks dead last in the NFL (avg = 30%).
Last week, the Bucs played without multiple offensive line starters and multiple starting receivers. And the Saints, playing at home, still got pressure at the lowest rate in the NFL.
If this holds and the Saints struggle to get pressure on Mayfield and blitz as infrequently as they have been, it will be a huge change for Mayfield.
In Week 1, Mayfield played his old team, the Browns.
They rank No. 6 in pressure rate this season, recording pressure on 36% of opponent dropbacks, and have a league-average blitz rate.
In Week 2, Mayfield played the Giants.
They rank No. 5 in blitz rate this season (37%) and record pressure at a 27% rate.
Mayfield has been blitzed and pressured a ton in his first two games with the Panthers.
Now, he’s playing at home against a team with the No. 32 pressure rate and the No. 30 blitz rate?
This certainly isn’t an easy defense to go up against, but there is a road to envision Mayfield can perform slightly better without pressure. And if he does not and struggles once again, the Panthers will host the No. 31 ranked Cardinals defense next week in what should be his final chance to either deliver for the Panthers or probably cost Matt Rhule his job because the next three games will include the Bucs, Rams and 49ers.
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