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Can Carolina beat the Saints? Most NFL experts don’t think so, especially Colin Cowherd

While most NFL experts are leaning pretty hard towards New Orleans beating Carolina in Charlotte Sunday, the guys at the Bleacher Report are divided.

Three picked Carolina. Three picked New Orleans.

Brent Sobleski was one of those leaning towards the Saints.

“Jameis Winston isn’t going to be perfect every week,” he said. “But he’s in a position to be while playing behind one of the game’s best offensive lines. The Panthers built a promising and talented front seven. However, New Orleans’ offensive front can negate Carolina’s biggest strength.”

Countering for Carolina was Gary Davenport.

“Maybe the Saints really are as good as the team that just stomped a mud hole in the Green Bay Packers,” he said. “Carolina’s defense played well last week against the Jets, Christian McCaffrey can help the Panthers control the game’s tempo and the last time Jameis Winston went two straight games without throwing a pick was sixth grade.”

Most of the experts this week were pretty clear, however, on who they thought would win Sunday’s game.

Four of the six at CBS Sports think Jameis Winston comes to Charlotte and does that funny thing he does with his hands to form a “W.”

ESPN’s Mike Triplett and David Newton both think the Saints come marching into Bank of America Stadium, and leave with a win. Triplett likes Nawlins 23-19. Newton think it’ll be a 30-17 comfortable win.

All 11 experts on ESPN’s panel are picking New Orleans, too.

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com likes the Saints, 24-20.

“This game features the league’s best two running backs and two quarterbacks I’m fascinated to see moving forward,” Rosenthal writes. “Both defenses figure to generate pressure, but ultimately, I have more trust in the ability of Jameis Winston and the Saints’ offensive line to handle it.

Like Rosenthal, the Sporting News also likes the Saints in a close game, calling New Orleans 28-23, citing that New Orleans is good when favored on the road, going 8-3 against the spread since 2019.

Four of the five experts at Sports Illustrated picked the Saints. And at College Football News, Clucko the Chicken, which often will go with the Panthers, picked the Saints, along with seven more of the 12 other panelists.

Over at Fox Sports, Colin Cowherd, never a big fan of Charlotte’s team, was really, really bullish on the black and gold.

“So, if you didn’t watch the (Jets) game, you’d look at Sam Darnold’s numbers and see: rushing touchdown, passer rating 102, and a touchdown to Robby Anderson,” he said. “But if you really examine the game, there were lots of wasted opportunities. They should’ve won this game by three touchdowns. I like the pass rush by the Saints and I do not like Carolina’s offensive front. I think Darnold will be pressured into some mistakes. I like the Saints strongly here.”

Langston Wertz Jr. is an award-winning sports journalist who has worked at the Observer since 1988. He’s covered everything from Final Fours and NFL to video games and Britney Spears. Wertz — a West Charlotte High and UNC grad — is the rare person who can answer “Charlotte,” when you ask, “What city are you from.”
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