January 24 2018

Rookie firsts propel Saints past Panthers 34-13 for first win

January 24 2018, 01:50 | Sammy Rose

The Panthers Take on a Dangerous Saints Team

New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers: Prediction, preview, pick to win

Some of the remaining Panthers fans in a mostly empty stadium let out a sarcastic cheer when Derek Anderson replaced Cam Newton with less than 5 minutes left Sunday in a 34-13 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

Even though the Carolina Panthers were undefeated entering Week 3, the team entered with plenty of questions, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Former Saints wideout Brandin Cooks caught five passes for 131 and two scores, while tight end Rob Gronkowski pulled down eight catches for 189 yards and a TD. Fortunately for the Saints, the defense held at the end and limited the Panthers to a field goal.

The Saints led 17-6 when Ginn beat cornerback James Bradberry down the middle of the field for a 40-yard touchdown reception to break it open.

"You let up 30 points and have a bunch of big plays".

"I think I may go for the Saints on Sunday", said this man.

The New Orleans Saints were desperate for a victory and hoped to show they weren't as bad as they looked during the first two games of this season. Michael Palardy drilled a 56-yard punt, but he also failed to bury the Saints in their own territory when Ron Rivera inexplicably opted to punt from the Saints' 35 midway through the third quarter. They started out as NFC West (yep, don't ask me) rivals and then moved to the NFC South in 2002. In addition, the Panthers held an advantage in time of possession of almost 18 minutes. As a man, as a father, as an African American man, somebody in the National Football League who is one of those sons of (expletive), yeah, I took it personally.

"They had a good plan", Newton said. In his usual pregame speech to fire up the team, Drew Brees appeared to unleash a torrent of profanities in the process. Kuechly dropped an easy interception, while Thompson failed to get to Brees on a couple of blitzes.

This game is coming at you at 1 p.m. EST on your local FOX affiliate.

P.J. Williams picked off Newton midway through the second quarter, with his 7-yard return setting up the Saints at the Carolina 24.

"Where my mental frame was, I was ready to play", he said.

It's only going to get tougher for Wilks, Kuechly and Co.

Overall, Newton has made three Pro Bowls and was also named as a First-Team All-Pro in 2015 while winning the NFL's Most Valuable Player award. "We've got Tom Brady up this week and everybody knows about him", Kuechly said. But Olsen suffered an ankle injury in the win over Buffalo that is going to sideline him for an extended period of time.

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