The pain is almost over. The Panthers trail the Saints 16-7 at halftime of their last game of the season.
Here’s a recap of what’s happened so far.
The slide for QB Teddy Bridgewater continues. Carolina’s first possession once again ended with Bridgewater taking a sack. Now he’s added a new trick: muffing handoffs to the running back. In addition to those errors, Bridgewater is just 11/19 passing for 124 yards and one interception – and he’s lucky he doesn’t have three already. The Panthers’ run game has been weak, as well. The team has just 32 yards on 13 carries. Once again, WR/RB Curtis Samuel is the only standout offensively. So far, he has caught six passes, totaling 95 yards.
Carolina will be fortunate if this is the last time they face Drew Brees, who has taken a couple of sacks (one each for Tre Boston and Efe Obada) but is still operating the Saints’ offense efficiently. At the half, he’s 13/16 for 114 yards, two touchdowns and a 135.9 passer rating. Having Brian Burns out there might have helped, but likely not much.
Joey Slye is still not getting chances on fourth down, which doesn’t bode well for his future in Carolina. Meanwhile, the reigning NFC Special Teams Player of the Week Joseph Charlton is averaging 45 yards per punt.
The Saints receive the kick to begin the third quarter.