Five fearless predictions for Sunday’s Carolina Panthers game at New Orleans:
1. Quarterback Kyle Allen’s debut
Rookie undrafted free agent quarterback Kyle Allen gets his first NFL start on Sunday. He has shown in practice he can really sling it, but he’s only thrown four live passes so far. So it’ll be a mixed day for him: 25 of 38 with 238 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
2. Allen under pressure
With a banged-up offensive line that will be missing right guard Trai Turner (ankle), Allen is in for a long day at the office. He’ll get hit at least four times, and sacked at least twice.
3. From Allen to Ian
Just like backup Taylor Heinicke did last week, Allen will rely on rookie Ian Thomas in the red zone for a touchdown pass on the scripted first drive.
4. Gaulden’s first pick
I predict a lot of playing time for rookie safety Rashaan Gaulden, who will also come away with his first NFL pick, against quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
5. Bad history
The Panthers fall to the Saints, 31-14, meaning they get swept in back to back seasons. The Panthers also make history as the first team in the 16-game era of the NFL to begin a season 6-2 and end it 6-10.
But hey, how about that draft pick?
Panthers at Saints
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans
Sunday, 1 p.m.