One question for each team in Saints-Panthers, Browns-Steelers Monday Night Football doubleheader

NFC South and AFC North foes will clash on Monday

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If you thought Week 2 has been riveting, you're in luck. There are still two more games to be played.

The New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers will kick off the action at the Bank of America Stadium first at 7:15 p.m. ET for an NFC South clash. The Cleveland Browns will then head to Acrisure Stadium to face the Pittsburgh Steelers an hour later at 8:15 p.m. ET.

New Orleans is coming off a rather unconvincing 16-15 win against the Tennessee Titans in Week 1, while Carolina lost 24-10 to the Atlanta Falcons in another divisional setting.

Cleveland completed stymied the Cincinnati Bengals en route to a 24-3 win to kickstart its season, while Pittsburgh was bullied in a 30-7 home loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Divisional matchups always mean just a little bit more, though, so here's one question each team is facing ahead of their respective matchups:

New Orleans Saints: How legit is the defense?

The Saints posted solid defensive numbers last season, but that was overshadowed by their quarterback dilemma. While Derek Carr is now the No. 1 -- for now -- last week's narrow win was in large part thanks to their defense completely hindering the Tennessee offense.

Ryan Tannehill may not be lethal, but holding him to 16-for-34 completions for 198 yards, no touchdowns and three picks is impressive -- as is limiting Derrick Henry to just 63 rushing yards on 15 carries. They'll be facing a Panthers offense led by a rookie quarterback who is lacking elite weapons. That feels favorable, on paper, that the defense can turn in another stout showing.

Carolina Panthers: How will Bryce Young fare under the lights?

Bryce Young has had his fair share of games under the spotlight with Alabama, but the NFL is a whole new level. The 2023 No. 1 overall pick got off to a rough start versus Atlanta in Week 1, completing 20-for-38 passes for 146 yards, one touchdown and two picks.

Of course, no one should logically expect a rookie to come in and tear it up from opening day, especially when you consider the context of Carolina's current roster construction. Miles Sanders and Chuba Hubbard are the top-two running backs, while tight end Hayden Hurst led the team in receiving. That's just not a high enough standard.

But while no one is expecting a raw Young, head coach Frank Reich and Co. to do serious damage yet, it could be a rough showing for the team under the lights considering how good the Saints defense can be on their day. Let's see what the Panthers do to simplify the game for Young on his prime time debut.

Cleveland Browns: Can offense find right balance to complement defense?

The Browns' commanding 24-3 win versus Cincinnati came down to how Jim Schwartz's defense prevented Joe Burrow and his elite weapons from causing any serious damage. If the offense followed suit, the scoreboard could've been worse for the Bengals.

Deshaun Watson couldn't fully find his feet, and that's not a nod to the rainy weather. He completed 16-for-29 passes for 154 yards, one touchdown and one interception while adding a touchdown through the ground. He may not have needed to light up the stat sheet in that matchup, but he often threw inaccurate passes he should be hitting if the Browns want to take the next step.

And while Nick Chubb collected 106 rushing yards on 18 carries, he's yet to score a rushing touchdown with Watson under center. If the defense can keep at it, the pressure will be on Watson to man the offense in what looks to be an ultra-competitive AFC North.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Was the preseason a fluke?

Preseason results don't usually have any impact on how the regular season will go. There are just too many "what ifs?" once the starters rest. But you can take away certain aspects and see how they could translate over the full course of a season. Take second-year QB Kenny Pickett, for example, who looked much more composed and sharp in his actions and decisions in preseason after a bumpy rookie campaign.

But that all came crumbling down quickly at home when the 49ers walked into town. Pickett logged 232 passing yards on 31 of 46 completions, one touchdown and two picks against last season's No. 1-ranked defense. Najee Harris didn't get that many touches either, accumulating 31 rushing yards on six attempts.

And though T.J. Watt did his thing and sacked Brock Purdy three times, no one else on the defensive side really put up a fight. That's an unusual sentence to type about a Mike Tomlin-coached team, so Pittsburgh needs to reincorporate some steel into its team -- like it showed it can do in preseason action -- as Cleveland will be nothing short of a dawg fight.

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