The Saints offense is a work in progress with new quarterback Derek Carr, but they are able to work out the kinks with a 2-0 record thanks to their defense.
After holding the Titans without a touchdown in Week One, the unit kept the Panthers out of the end zone until the end of the fourth quarter of Monday's 20-17 win. They held the Panthers to 164 yards before that final 75-yard drive, sacked Bryce Young four times and recovered a fumble after the Panthers quarterback lost the ball on one of them.
Carr and the offense didn't get much going in the first half, but finally connected on a couple of big plays in the second half that led to the touchdowns that made them winners in Charlotte. When the game was over, Carr praised the defense for giving the offense time to find its groove.
"That is a very big part of the reason why I came here," Carr said, via a transcript from the team. "Any team that I talked to was a team with a defense. I played these guys. I knew Dennis Allen. I know what it is like and how difficult it is. All I want to do is win. So, I was like, shoot, if I can go there and have a day like today — didn't play my best in the first half, come back, play good in the second half and win a game? Like, I didn't have to be perfect for four quarters and we won. That is awesome. I don't like that still. We won, but I am still sick because I should have played better. I can help the offense more. I sit back and I am already analyzing it, right? But to have that defense to hold us, keep us in there until we got clicking in the second half, I mean, it helped us win the football game."
The Saints could use a sharper offensive effort in Green Bay next week, but they should feel confident that their defense will give them a chance even if it doesn't come together right away.