Saints Record Big NFC South Win Over Panthers
The New Orleans Saints captured a big win over an NFC South Division rival on Sunday afternoon, extending their current win streak to three games in the process.
Quarterback Drew Brees passed for 287 yards and three total touchdowns to help the Saints defeat the Carolina Panthers, 27-24, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La.
New Orleans got on the scoreboard first, on the initial possession of the game, when Brees connected with Jared Cook on a 4-yard touchdown pass at the 6:34 mark of the first quarter, capping off a 14-play, 75-yard drive, which gave them a quick 7-0 lead.
Carolina scored on their first possession of the contest when Joey Slye kicked through a 43-yard field goal, completing a 9-play 50-yard drive, which cut the deficit to 7-3 at the 1:54 mark of the opening period.
The Saints extended their lead at the 12:13 mark of the second quarter when Drew Brees scored on a 1-yard run, jumping and extending the football past the line of scrimmage, ending a 9-play, 78-yard drive, giving them a 14-3 advantage.
The Panthers scored their first touchdown of the game at the 10:56 mark of the second quarter when Teddy Bridgewater hit D.J. Moore with a 74-yard touchdown pass, wrapping-up a short 2-play, 75-yard drive, to make it 14-10.
Carolina grabbed their first lead of the game at the1:37 mark of the second quarter when Bridgewater and Moore combined on their second touchdown of the game, this one from seven yards away, concluding a 9-play, 65-yard drive, giving them a 17-14 edge.
New Orleans regained the lead as time expired right before the end of the half when Brees tossed a 4-yard touchdown pass to Deonte Harris, putting the exclamation mark on an 8-play, 75-yard drive, giving them a 21-17 advantage, an edge that they would take into the locker room at halftime.
New Orleans outgained Carolina, in terms of total yards, in the first half, 272-180, including a 105-10 advantage in rushing yards, while the Panthers held a 170-167 edge in passing yards.
Brees paced the Saints in the first half, throwing for 177 yards and two touchdowns, while Alvin Kamara added 64 rushing yards on seven carries.
For the Panthers, Bridgewater threw for 170 yards and two touchdowns over the first 30 minutes, while Moore caught two passes, both for touchdowns, for 81 combined yards.
The Saints scored the first points of the second half at the 4:28 mark of the third quarter when Wil Lutz kicked through a 41-yard field goal, capping off a 13-play, 58-yard drive, which extended their lead to 24-17.
The Panthers tied things up on their very next possession, however, when Curtis Samuel scored on a 5-yard touchdown run, ending an 8-play, 75-yard drive, to even the contest, 24-24, with :08 left in the third frame.
New Orleans got the lead back at the 7:55 mark of the fourth quarter when Lutz connected on his second field goal of the game, this one from 43 yards away, completing a 13-play, 50-yard drive, which gave them a 27-24 edge.
The Panthers had a chance to tie it at the 2:00 warning, but Slye in an attempt to set a new NFL record came up just short on a 65-yard field goal attempt.
That turned out to be the last chance for the Panthers, as the Saints hung on for the big three-point triumph.
New Orleans outgained Carolina in total yards, 415-283, including a 138-37 advantage in rushing yards, as well as a 277-246 edge in passing yards.
Leading the way for the Saints was Bres, who completed 29-of36 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns, to go along with another rushing touchdown, while Kamara finished with 83 rushing yards and 65 receiving yards.
In a losing cause for the Panthers, Bridgewater completed 23-of-28 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns.
With the victory, New Orleans improved to 4-2 on the season, while Carolina dropped to 3-4.
The Saints return to action next Sunday when they travel to Chicago to face the Bears.