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Panthers Hurdle the Saints and Prove a Point in 35-27 Win

By Michael Brennan

On a bleak and rainy Sunday in Charlotte, NC, the Carolina Panthers finally hurdled over an obstacle they hadn’t bested in over two years.

Historically, the Carolina Panthers have seen little to no success in the past few seasons, losing their last five games against the Saints spanning all the way back to the John Fox era. But this time, Ryan Kalil and the high-octane Carolina offense have produced headlines with the results they want to see from this season.

The New Orleans offense was the first of the two offenses to take the field. Big conversions from the dynamic Darren Sproles led the Saints down the field methodically to open up the game and a Jimmy Graham touchdown pass put New Orleans on the board. That would be the last time that the Saints marched with such ease.

After an offseason of improving defense and special teams, the Panthers finally got the pressure they were searching for. Drew Brees felt pressure all day from the Carolina front four. Brees threw for 325 yards, but was intercepted twice, one of which, was returned for a TD.

Carolina on the other hand, sported an offense that was absent during the season opener in Tampa Bay. The balanced attack on the ground and in the air was the key to keeping the New Orleans defense guessing. Cam Newton threw for 253 yards and a touchdown while establishing a career-best 71 rushing yards with a touchdown.

Brandon Lafell is continuing to emerge as a threat in the Panther offense. A strong day offensively and defensively for Carolina propelled them to a 35-27 victory over their NFC South nemesis.

It would be difficult to find a spectator that believes the New Orleans Saints don’t have the players to take them deep in to the playoffs, but without the life-blood of their system it is getting harder and harder to imagine they will find themselves in that position come February. Amid the controversy and trials of the bounty scandal that erupted out of New Orleans, the Saints are without their head coach Sean Payton for the duration of the season.

The Carolina Panthers will take center stage on Thursday Night when the defending Super Bowl champions come to town.

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