Officials with the Saints have been known to say about a difficulty: "It's not a problem. It's an opportunity for a solution."
The Saints currently have the same "opportunity for a solution" they've had for the last two seasons when they've also started 0 and 2. In week three, they were unable to find a solution, losing again.
Should they fail to find a solution Sunday in Charlotte, it would mark the team's third straight season off to an 0 and 3 start. And that has recently not only sounded a death knell for a playoff berth, but just a winning season.
In the last five years, not a single team in the NFL that started 0 and 3 compiled a winning record. At 7 and 9 the last two years, the Saints were a pair of those who did and then - as a result - didn't.
The task against the Panthers is the usual one. Find a way to muster an acceptable defense against an offensively-challenged Panther team missing its most reliable receiver in the injured Greg Olsen. For the Saints offense, it's scoring against a Panther defense that's allowed 3 points in each of their victories over San Francisco and Buffalo. That's the best points-per-game defense in the NFL.
By allowing 32-and-a-half points per game, the Saints rank second-to-last in the league in that category. Two games is a pretty small sample size. But at the moment, the Panthers have the best defense in the NFL; the Saints have the worst.
If that doesn't change on Sunday, it's likely neither will the Saints' fortunes.
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