September 16, 2012
Panthers 35, Saints 27, final
With their running game back at full throttle,the Panthers picked up their first victory of the season Sunday with a 35-27 win over New Orleans in Bank of America Stadium.
Not only did it even the Panthers' record at 1-1, the victory sends them into a nationally televised game Thursday night against the New York Giants on a positive note.
A week after gaining just 10 rushing yards, the Panthers picked gained 221 yards against New Orleans while gaining 465 total yards.
Quarterback Cam Newton completed 14 of 20 passes for 244 yards and one touchdown. He also led the Panthers with 73 rushing yards.
Their lead cut to 28-20 early in the fourth quarter, the Panthers responded with a quick-strike touchdown. It started with a 66-yard completion to Steve Smith, who was left uncovered by the Saints' defense. Newton soon followed with a five-yard touchdown run that boosted the Panthers' lead to 35-20 with 9:55 remaining.
The Saints didn't go quietly, driving for a touchdown on a 1-yard Drew Brees keeper that cut the Panthers' edge to eight points with 1:55 to play.
Linebacker Jon Beason intercepted a Brees pass with 23 seconds remaining the seal the victory.
The Panthers stretched their advantage to 28-13 midway through the third quarter with a sharp 80-yard scoring drive filled with big plays. There was a 20-yard pass to LaFell, a 27-yard DeAngelo Williams run and a 13-yard pass interference call that set up a three-yard Williams touchdown run with 8:17 left in the third quarter.
The Saints, with Brees having had his left ankle taped after a hard takedown by Carolina's Greg Hardy, responded with touchdown drive that culminated with a one-yard Mark Ingram score with 12:53 remaining. The big play was a 29-yard completion from Brees to Marques Colston.
After a slow start, the Panthers scored two touchdowns in the final four minutes of the second half to lead 21-13 at halftime.
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.
Newton completed nine of 12 passes for 129 yards and one touchdown while receiver Brandon LaFell had a big first 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 04:13 PM | Permalink
get ready for those giants now..i can't wait...go panthers
Posted by: pantherworld | Sep 16, 2012 4:21:44 PM
Looks like Tap a Gay took a lot of the Gee Boys..... Hopefully our guys are ready to go on Thursday. Glad to see them early, but hope they can recover quickly enough to be the Gee Boys.
Posted by: TheTruth | Sep 16, 2012 4:50:52 PM
Seen this too many times before, the cats must stay consistent! Build of a good win, and play full throttle Thursday night! Go Cats
Posted by: Catfan1980 | Sep 16, 2012 10:40:57 PM
Persinger, why do you not block this guy??
Posted by: 10-4!! | Sep 17, 2012 8:02:45 AM
Is there no way to shut these 'Aint trolls up? Or at least have their b.s. statements blocked/removed/banished?
Posted by: hihosilvermusic | Sep 17, 2012 6:15:18 PM
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