September 16, 2012
Panthers 21, Saints 13, halftime
After a slow start, the Panthers scored two touchdowns in the final four minutes of the second half to build a 21-13 lead over New Orleans at Bank of America Stadium.
Jonathan Stewart took a screen pass 17 yards for a touchdown then Mike Tolbert ran two yards with 11 seconds remaining in the half to extend the Panthers' lead at halftime.
Quarterback Cam Newton completed nine of 12 passes for 129 yards and one touchdown. Receiver Brandon LaFell had a big half, catching five passes for 70 yards.
The Carolina defense struggled early to contain Saints quarterback Drew Brees who completed 15 of 22 passes for 143 yards in the first half.
The game started like the Panthers' loss at Tampa Bay last Sunday -- allowing the Saints to drive 80 yards on their first possession for a touchdown and 7-0 lead. The Panthers seemed lost trying to contain Darren Sproles, who had receptions of 18 and 25 yards on the drive that culminated with a 1-yard pass from Drew Brees to tight end Jimmy Graham.
The Panthers pulled even at 7-7 when strong safety Charles Godfrey intercepted a Brees pass intended for Pierre Thomas and returned it nine yards for a touchdown. It was the first interception return for a touchdown since Captain Munnerlyn did it against Cleveland two years ago.
The Saints pushed back ahead with a 22-yard Garrett Hartley field goal near the end of the first quarter for a 10-7 lead.
Carolina wasted an excellent scoring opportunity after driving deep into New Orleans territory. The drive started with a 40-yard run by Cam Newton and churned to the Saints' 4-yard line where the Panthers had fourth-and-inches.
Newton took the fourth-down snap and moved to his left. With no room, Newton attempted a late pitched to Mike Tolbert but it turned into a Saints fumble recovery, killing the Carolina threat.
On the next possession, New Orleans stretched its lead to 13-7 on a 53-yard Hartley field goal.
The Panthers finally grabbed the lead with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Newton to Stewart with 3:33 left in the half. The drive was kept alive by a 35-yard completion from Newton to Steve Smith on third-and-eight, moving Carolina to the New Orleans 32-yard line.
-- Ron Green Jr.
Posted by Observer Sports on September 16, 2012 at 02:24 PM | Permalink
Anyone going to point out how the Saints tried to step on Cam Newtons head in that pile?
Posted by: M Walksve | Sep 16, 2012 2:44:17 PM
Thought I saw a stomp towards Cam's head in that pile. However, Cam came away okay, smiling, and ready to rock and roll. I think I saw Vilma prematurely counting some money on the sidelines as well with Sean Payton laying under Vilma on the bench sucking his thumb......
Posted by: TheTruth | Sep 16, 2012 4:42:15 PM
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