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Monday Night Football: The Saints take a 6-3 lead at halftime

Offensive football fans didn’t have much to enjoy in the first half of Monday night’s game between the Saints and Panthers.

The two teams combined for six punts, two turnovers and three field goals in the first 30 minutes of play in Charlotte. Saints kicker Blake Grupe had two of those field goals, giving the Saints a 6-3 lead.

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 due to two sacks by the Panthers defense.

The Panthers had three total sacks in the first half and safety Vonn Bell intercepted a pass from David Carr in the second quarter. However, Young was also sacked twice and is just 8 of 13 for 66 yards.

Both teams lost key players due to injuries. Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson suffered what the team initially called a shin injury. At halftime they said it was an ankle injury and Thompson would not return.

Saints running back Jamaal Williams left with a hamstring injury. Williams was one of two active defensemen on Monday, so Tony Jones Jr. is the only one still available.

Jones just came off the practice squad, so he may not be the man to change the offensive fortunes in the second half. If someone can do this, their team has a good chance of winning.

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