CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Carolina Panthers will play their home opener on Monday night in what will also be quarterback Bryce Young’s first regular-season game at Bank of America Stadium.
The Panthers will face off with the division-rival New Orleans Saints, who will be playing their first road game of the season.
Carolina fell to Atlanta in Week 1, but hopes to rebound on Monday night to avoid an 0-2 start.
Things won’t be easy for the Panthers though, who are without two starters in cornerback Jaycee Horn and guard Brady Christensen, both of whom were placed on injured reserve due to injuries from the Falcons matchup. Wide receiver D.J. Chark missed last week’s game with a hamstring injury and is questionable for Monday’s contest.
Young, a rookie out of Alabama, did some good things in his first NFL game last week, despite throwing two interceptions. He did also throw a touchdown to tight end Hayden Hurst.
The Panthers will need Young to play well to beat the Saints, who have statistically had a top-10 defense each of the past three years. One way to do that is to create big plays. His longest completion against Atlanta went for just 14 yards.
Across the sideline, quarterback Derek Carr, signed by New Orleans this offseason, will make his second start for his new team. He threw for 305 yards, a touchdown and an interception in his Saints debut, defeating the Tennessee Titans in the process.
Panthers edge rusher Brian Burns was a game-wrecker against Atlanta, totaling two sacks, seven tackles and a forced fumble. If he and fellow pass rusher Justin Houston can create pressure against Carr, it could be a good night for Carolina.
A win Monday would not only be the first for Young, but also the first with the organization for new head coach Frank Reich.
New Orleans enters Monday’s matchup as three-point favorites over Carolina.
Kickoff is slated for 7:15 p.m. on ESPN.
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