In the first of two games during Monday Night Football’s Week 2 doubleheader, the New Orleans Saints did battle with the Carolina Panthers in a crucial NFC showdown. In what many consider to be a tossup division, every game counts, especially those against NFC South rivals.
All eyes were on rookie Bryce Young as he made his first-ever start at home for the Panthers. Could he pull off an upset win over the high-powered Saints offense? or, would Michael Thomas, Derek Carr, and Chris Olave be too much for this young Carolina team?
Saints vs. Panthers Final Score
Highlights and Analysis
Fourth Quarter: Saints 20, Panthers 17
10:21 p.m. ET: And the game is over thanks to a first down run by Taysom Hill. The Saints move to 2-0 and are now tied with the Falcons and Buccaneers in the NFC South standings.
10:19 p.m. ET: The Saints allowed the Panthers to march down the field in less than two minutes and score a TOUCHDOWN to Thielen. The Saints’ prevent defense did not seem to be all that worried about Young, but he made them pay for it. Unfortunately, the onside kick did not work, and New Orleans now has the ball up just three with over a minute left and two timeouts for Carolina.
10:06 p.m. ET: After struggling in Week 1, Tony Jones Jr. has made a huge impact in this one. After a 79-yard drive, Jones pounds it in for his second TOUCHDOWN of the night! Jamaal Williams who? With only three minutes left in the game, it looks like the Saints will be going 2-0 for the first time in 10 years.
10:02 p.m. ET: Carr connects deep downfield for another beautifully thrown pass but this time to Shaheed for 45 yards. The Panthers’ defense looks gassed as the offense continues to spend little time on the field.
9:58 p.m. ET: The Saints’ defense continues to prove how dominant it is. In two games so far, they have allowed ZERO touchdowns. After a sack, the Panthers had no choice but to kick the FIELD GOAL. 13-9.
9:48 p.m. ET: Hey now! Here we go, Bryce Young! Panthers QB makes his best play of the night with a 26-yard scramble. He follows that up with a deep ball that isn’t caught but does draw a pass interference. Carolina is now in the red zone, knocking on the door to tie up the game!
Bryce Young showing off the wheels 💨
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) September 19, 2023
9:43 p.m. ET: Just as it looked like the Saints were about to run away with this one, the Panthers get a huge sack on a 3rd-and-2, forcing a punt over a field goal. Carolina will take over at its own 25 after a touchback on the boot.
Third Quarter: Saints 13, Panthers 6
9:35 p.m. ET: Carolina responds with another three-and-out. Punt back to the Saints, and the Carr to Olave connection continues with a beautiful first down catch near the sidelines. Olave is now at 77 yards, and Brian Blewis has hit his over! End of the fourth quarter and the Saints are driving.
9:27 p.m. ET: HEY! Guess what? We got some points! First TOUCHDOWN of the game comes thanks to Tony Jones Jr., the only healthy RB left on the Saints roster. Extra point is good and the Saints are now up 13-6. The over/under for this one was set at 39.5. Under bettors are laughing. Olave is now at 56 receiving yards. Remember, PFN Betting Director Brian Blewis’ best bet was over 69.5 yards. He’s got a quarter left.
9:25 p.m. ET: Highlight of the night so far! Carr to Olave for a beautiful 42-yard catch. New Orleans is finally marching and looking to take back the lead in the third quarter. They are now in the red zone.
CHRIS OLAVE, NO WAY 😮💨 pic.twitter.com/M1orlKRNHH
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) September 19, 2023
9:18 p.m. ET: Carolina Gets an Eddy Pineiro 54-yard FIELD GOAL. Ties it up 6-6.
9:10 p.m. ET: The Saints punt the ball back to Carolina, who take over at New Orleans’ 41-yard line. Good starting field position. Maybe we will get some points?
9:00 p.m. ET: Well, the Panthers came out of the half and instead of marching down the field for points, Young was once again sacked and FUMBLED the ball. Luckily for the Panthers, there was a penalty that negated the play. The referees never seemed to explain what the penalty was. With a new set of downs, Young started with a play-action pass to Chubba Hubbard for a first down. But that was the end of that, with Young overthrowing his receivers twice after the completion, eventually resulting in another punt.
Second Quarter: Saints 6, Panthers 3
8:41 p.m. ET: And then the Saints missed two passes and Carr was sacked twice. We thankfully head to halftime. Hopefully, both these offenses can come out in the second half with some life.
8:35 p.m. ET: No. The Panthers could not get points. On 3rd and 6 in the red zone, Young gets pressured and FUMBLES the ball. The Saints then brought the return back to the 40-yard line to try and extend their lead with 1:25 left in the half.
8:30 p.m. ET: WOAH! We’ve got action! Carr finally takes a deep shot and it was … INTERCEPTED. Carr tried to force the ball to Chris Olave, but Vonn Bell got the pick instead. With halftime on the way, can the Panthers get some points?
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) September 19, 2023
8:26 p.m. ET: Stop me if you have heard this one before, but Panthers with another three-and-out. Luckily, there is another game being played during this Monday Night Football doubleheader that just started. Apparently, there was a touchdown scored already, lucky them.
8:20 p.m. ET: Saints RB Jamaal Williams heads to the locker room. He is questionable to return with a hamstring injury. The Saints are now without Kamara due to suspension, rookie Kendre Miller is inactive, and Williams is potentially out. Well, at least Hill has been good on the ground so far, racking up 24 yards on four carries. Saints end up punting again after another three-and-out.
8:16 p.m. ET: Another three-and-out for the Panthers. Not much else to say really, the run game and passing game have both struggled to do anything in this one.
8:09 p.m. ET: Well, the Saints offense was again sputtered but this time they were all the way on the 4-yard line. The Panthers goal-line defense once again stopped Carr, who looked frustrated after a number of miscommunications with his wide receivers. Another Grupe FIELD GOAL gives the Saints a 6-3 lead.
8:05 p.m. ET: After a slow start, this Monday Night Football game started to pick up. The Panthers’ defense has been solid, but finally, Carr was able to connect with his favorite target in Michael Thomas deep downfield. Thomas made a beautiful diving catch that was originally ruled an incompletion. However, it was ultimately overturned are ruled a 19-yard gain on 3rd and 9.
8:00 p.m. ET: WR Rashid Shaheed might not be making a ton of splash plays tonight, but he has made his presence known. Thanks to an excellent punt return, the Saints started their drive on the 45-yard line.
7:57 p.m. ET: Young started the second quarter with a quick three and out. The young Carolina QB nearly threw an interception when targeting Thielen for the fifth time this game. Luckily, Saints CB Alontae Taylor juggled the ball before falling out of bounds.
End of First Quarter: Panthers 3, Saints 3
7:48 p.m. ET: A promising drive ends near the red zone as the Saints opt to tie the game at 3 a piece. It was a 15-play, 65-yard drive that ended with a 28-yard chip shot FIELD GOAL by Blake Grupe.
7:45 p.m. ET: Panthers LB Shaq Thompson was carted off the field after getting rolled up on at the end of a play.
𝗨𝗣𝗗𝗔𝗧𝗘: #Panthers standout LB Shaq Thompson is being carted off the field…
He looked like he was in pain. Hoping that it’s nothing too serious 🙏🏻
— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) September 18, 2023
7:34 p.m. ET: After another short punt in this one, the Saints start their drive near the 35-yard line. The Saints put together a nice drive thanks to the second appearance of the Swiss Army knife QB/TE/WR/RB Taysom Hill. The Saints’ run game has been trying to figure itself out with Taysom Hill, Jamaal Williams, and Tony Jones Jr. all contributing. The team has yet to really find its rushing attack since the Alvin Kamara suspension.
7:30 p.m. ET: Young’s first possession at home as a Panther ends with a 52-yard FIELD GOAL by Eddie Pineiro. The drive was solid, but poor offensive line play and penalties stalled the momentum Young had created. Thielen already has three receptions on the day, which is a good sign for the team after the WR finished last week with just two receptions for 12 yards in their Week 1 loss to the Falcons.
7:23 p.m. ET: After taking a big hit on his first play, Young hands off to RB Miles Sanders who breaks off an impressive first down run. The Panthers follow up the big run with a short pass to veteran offseason acquisition Adam Thielen.
7:20 p.m. ET: The Panthers’ defense ended the Saints’ first drive with a big sack on QB Derek Carr thanks to LB Frankie Luvu. After a bad punt from New Orleans’ P Lou Hedley, rookie Bryce Young starts his first drive with excellent field position. The Saints have one of the best defenses in the NFL and will provide quite the test for the first-year starter.
7:16 p.m. ET: The night got started with the premiere of Monday Night Football’s brand new anthem “In the Air Tonight” featuring Chris Stapleton, Snoop Dogg, and Cindy Blackman Santana. The song has been well received by NFL fans and is a remake of the classic Phil Collins version.
How To Watch Saints vs. Panthers Monday Night Football
ESPN airs three Monday Night Football doubleheaders this season, with the first two broadcasting in Weeks 2 and 3. Here’s how to watch tonight’s first MNF game, including the start time, TV channels, and live stream options.
Monday, Sept. 18
- Start time
7:15 p.m. ET
Bank of America Stadium
- Live stream options
YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, FuboTV
Saints vs. Panthers Betting Predictions and Best Bets
All odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook unless stated otherwise.
Saints -155, Panthers +130
As we prepare for Monday Night Football, let’s take a look at what two PFN betting analysts had to say regarding the outcome of this game. Brian Blewis and Kyle Soppe each provide their best bet and prediction for the NFC South showdown.
Soppe: Last season, the Panthers, despite a schedule with subpar quarterback talent on the opposition, ranked 21st in yards per pass. That alone would mean targeting them through the air as an option, and with 2021 first-round pick Jaycee Horn on IR (hamstring), this is a good spot to load up on the Saints.
In Week 1, Rashid Shaheed again showcased his game-breaking abilities. With Derek Carr’s aDOT continuing to trend up (second highest in Week 1), Shaheed’s 4.3 speed is a weapon of mass destruction. He has a 30+ yard grab in seven of his past 11 games and has been efficient in his young career (33 catches on 40 targets).
Picks: Rashid Shaheed over 36.5 receiving yards (-125 at DraftKings), Shaheed to record 50+ receiving yards (+165 at DraftKings)
Blewis: Chris Olave was a popular pick to have a breakout season in 2023, and he did not disappoint in Week 1. Despite leaving the game briefly with an injury, Olave had eight catches for 112 yards on 10 targets, including a 45-yard reception. It took just one game, but it looks like he already has chemistry with Carr.
This week, he goes against a Panthers team missing their best player in the secondary (Horn).
With a short spread on the road against a divisional rival, I’m not expecting this game to be a blowout, so I believe the Saints won’t be taking their foot off the gas early in this one. As of writing this, there’s a three-yard disparity in Olave’s prop at DraftKings and FanDuel, leading me to believe this number will only go up.
Pick: Chris Olave over 69.5 receiving yards (-115 at DraftKings)
Saints vs. Panthers Fantasy Advice
PFN’s Fantasy Analyst Kyle Soppe broke down this Monday Night Football game for all fantasy football enthusiasts. With analysis for every single fantasy-relevant player in this game, you can ensure that you make the best choices for your lineups. Here is what Soppe had to say regarding the quarterbacks in this one.
Derek Carr: Carr checked all of the boxes I needed him to in the Saints’ Week 1 win, and I think he’ll be a phenomenal bye-week filler when the time comes. He hit four different players with a 25-yard pass and showcased good touch on the deep ball.
His lack of rushing upside hurts, and Jamaal Williams’ potential to soak up scores will keep Carr outside of my top 15 most weeks, but mark my words – his floor will be appealing as the weather cools.
Bryce Young: Maybe Young will turn into something with time, but a fantasy football asset in 2023 is not in the cards. In his debut, he completed just 20 of 38 passes for 146 yards with a touchdown and two picks. The 16-yard run was good to see – he’s a dynasty stash that is nothing more than a Superflex streamer at the moment.
You can see the entire fantasy breakdown here: Saints vs. Panthers Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em
Saints vs. Panthers Latest Injury News, Projected Lineups, and Inactives
The Panthers had three players on the injury report this week. CB Jaycee Horn was placed on injured reserve (IR) ahead of the game, while OT Taylor Moton was cleared on Saturday. WR DJ Chark Jr. was able to practice in full on Saturday but is still listed as questionable. The expectation is that he will be able to go.
The Saints opened the week with five players on the injury report. Two were for rest purposes, while TE Juwan Johnson was able to practice in full by Thursday. RB Kendre Miller and DB J.T. Gray were both limited all week in practice and are listed as questionable heading into the games.
RB Kendre Miller
RB Kirk Merritt
WR A.T. Perry
WR Lynn Bowden
OL Nick Saldiveri
DE Kyle Phillips
RB Raheem Blackshear
CB Sam Webb
OLB DJ Johnson
G Nash Jensen
OT David Sharpe
What Are the Starting Lineups for Each Team?
Saints Projected Starters
The projected starting lineup is based on the current Saints depth chart.
- Quarterback: Derek Carr
- Running Back: Jamaal Williams
- Fullback: Adam Prentice
- Wide Receiver: Michael Thomas and Chris Olave
- Tight End: Juwan Johnson
- Left Offensive Tackle: Trevor Penning
- Left Guard: Andrus Peat
- Center: Erik McCoy
- Right Guard: Cesar Ruiz
- Right Offensive Tackle: Ryan Ramczyk
- Left Defensive End: Cameron Jordan
- Left Defensive Tackle: Nathan Shepherd
- Right Defensive End: Carl Granderson
- Right Defensive Tackle: Khalen Saunders
- SAM Linebacker: Zack Baun
- MIKE Linebacker: Demario Davis
- WILL Linebacker: Pete Werner
- Left Cornerback: Paulson Adebo
- Right Cornerback: Marshon Lattimore
- Free Safety: Tyrann Mathieu
- Strong Safety: Marcus Maye
- Kicker: Blake Grupe
- Punter: Lou Hedley
- Long Snapper: Zach Wood
- Punt Returner: Rashid Shaheed
- Kickoff Returner: Rashid Shaheed
Panthers Projected Starters
The projected starting lineup is based on the current Panthers depth chart.
- Quarterback: Bryce Young
- Running Back: Miles Sanders
- Fullback: Giovanni Ricci
- Wide Receiver: DJ Chark Jr. and Jonathan Mingo
- Tight End: Hayden Hurst
- Left Offensive Tackle: Ikem Ekwonu
- Left Guard: Cade Mays
- Center: Bradley Bozeman
- Right Guard: Chandler Zavala
- Right Offensive Tackle: Taylor Moton
- Defensive End: DeShawn Williams
- Defensive Tackle: Derrick Brown
- Nose Tackle: Shy Tuttle
- Left Outside Linebacker: Brian Burns
- Left Inside Linebacker: Frankie Luvu
- Right Inside Linebacker: Shaq Thompson
- Right Outside Linebacker: Justin Houston
- Left Cornerback: Jeremy Chinn
- Right Cornerback: Donte Jackson
- Free Safety: Xavier Woods
- Strong Safety: Vonn Bell
- Kicker: Eddy Piniero
- Punter: Johnny Hekker
- Long Snapper: JJ Jansen
- Punt Returner: Ihmir Smith-Marsette
- Kickoff Returner: Ihmir Smith-Marsette