TNF Recap – New Orleans Saints vs Carolina Panthers
This time, the Carolina Panthers figured out to finish the job. In danger of squandering a double-digit lead for the second time in five days, the Panthers held on for a 23-20 victory against the New Orleans Saints on TNF at Bank of America Stadium (Enter Contests). The Panthers (4-6) scored on a few short drives after first-half mistakes by Saints, and they emerged with the victory despite producing only 223 yards of total offense.
The Saints, who trailed by 20 points midway through the third quarter, pulled within 23-20 with 2:52 left on tight end Coby Fleener’s 8-yard touchdown catch of a Drew Brees pass. New Orleans (4-6) didn’t take another snap until the 14-second mark at their own 14-yard line after a Carolina punt. Cam Newton threw for one touchdown, completing 14 of 33 passes for 192 yards without an interception. Brees threw two touchdown passes and connected on 35 of 44 throws for 285 yards and one interception. The Saints were held to three points through three quarters. The outcome came days after the Panthers wasted a 17-point lead in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Panthers won for the third time in four games, forging a split of the season series with New Orleans. Carolina played the final minutes Thursday night without star linebacker Luke Kuechly, who was taken from the field on a cart with 4:41 remaining to be evaluated for a concussion. His status is still unclear. For a team on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoff picture, the potential downgrade from Kuechly to A.J. Klein could be the death knell for the defending NFC champions.
Next up for the Panthers is a Sunday afternoon matchup against the explosive Oakland Raiders team. The Saints will try to get back on the winning side versus the Los Angeles Rams.