The New Orleans Saints take on the Carolina Panthers in Week 2 of the 2021 NFL season.
Missing eight member of their coaching staff and eight key defenders, the New Orleans Saints trailed the Carolina Panthers 17-0 at halftime Sunday, Sept. 19 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
The Panthers scored on a 20-yard pass from quarterback Sam Darnold to Brandon Zylstra on their first possession, added a 20-yard field goal from Zane Gonzalez in the second quarter and closed out the scoring with a 2-yard touchdown pass from Darnold to receiver D.J. Moore. The Panthers dominated the first quarter, out-gaining the Saints 159-15 with eight first downs to the Saints' one and finished the half with 274 yards to the Saints' 65. Carolina (1-0) dominated time of possession 20:55 to 9:05 and ended the half with 15 first downs while the Saints (1-0) had just three.
Jameis Winston, making his second start as Saints quarterback, was 8 of 13 for 77 yards with one interception and was sacked twice. Running back Alvin Kamara had four yards on two carries and caught three passes for 17 yards. Darnold had a strong half, going 16 of 20 for 216 yards with two touchdowns.
Penalties were an issue for the Saints as they were called for six for 55 yards.
The Saints played the game with eight members of their coaching back in Texas because of Covid protocols. The coaches who misssed the game: Ryan Nielsen (assistant head coach/defensive line), Brian Young (pass rush specialist), Jim Chaney (offensive analyst), Declan Doyle (offensive assistant), Phil Galiano (assistant special teams), Curtis Johnson (senior offensive assistant/wide receivers), Dan Roushar (run game coordinator/tight ends) and Joel Thomas (running backs).
New Orleans also had to play without a number of key players including defensive lineman Marcus Davenport, Tanoh Kpassagnon, David Onyemata; linebackers Kwon Alexander, Pete Werner, Chase Hansen; and defensive backs Marshon Lattimore, C.J. Gardner-Johnson.