Fans of offensive football haven’t found much to enjoy in the first half of Monday night’s game between the Saints and the Panthers.
The two teams have combined for six punts, two turnovers and three field goals through the first 30 minutes of action in Charlotte. Saints kicker Blake Grupe had two of those field goals and the Saints lead 6-3 as a result.
Carolina looked like they would at least tie the game late in the half, but quarterback Bryce Young lost the ball when he was sacked by Carl Granderson on a third down play in the red zone. The Saints recovered, but their ensuing drive stalled thanks to a pair of sacks by the Panthers defense.
The Panthers had three sacks overall in the first half and safety Vonn Bell picked off a David Carr pass in the second quarter. Young has been sacked twice as well, however, and is just 8-of-13 for 66 yards.
Both teams lost key players to injuries. Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson was carted off with what the team initially called a shin injury. At halftime, they said it is an ankle injury and Thompson will not return.
Saints running back Jamaal Williams departed with a hamstring injury. Williams was one of two backs active on Monday, so Tony Jones Jr. is the only one still available.
Jones just came up from the practice squad, so he may not be the man to change offensive fortunes in the second half. If someone does accomplish that, their team will have a good shot at pulling out the win.