Saints battled Carolina, showing its best could emerge victorious from his visit to Bank of America. Tight 12-9 score against Panthers.
The Saints scored another hard-fought victory and went 12-2, a triumph of securing home-court advantage in the NFC, where the Cam Newton Panthers are about to be out of the Playoffs.
Cam Newton and company erred before the southern leader of the National Conference, a setback that cost them lifeless in the NFL.
Alvin Kamara totaled 103 yards and scored a touchdown, the Saints defense held off Cam Newton, and New Orleans defeated the Carolina Panthers on Monday, 12-9, to take an important step toward securing home-field advantage in the playoffs.
The New Orleans defense,which has been among the best in the league the past six weeks, limited Newton to 131 yards per pass, caught it four times and forced two turnovers.
The New Orleans Saints took another step towards the top of the National Conference and did so at the cost of almost dropping a divisional rival. The Saints fought too much but they defeated the Carolina Panthers 12-9 at home, the Bank of America Stadium, and with that absorbed almost all their chances of getting into the postseason.
The Monday Night Football of Week 15 offered one of the most divisional and most seasoned duels of the entire league and fulfilled by leaving a game that had to be resolved until the last seconds of the match. Carolina’s only points came through a cheating move on fourth down – a 50-yard touchdown pass from Christian McCaffrey to Chris Manhertz – and the return of an interception by Donte Jackson in a two-point conversion attempt.
The Panthers took the lead with a fantastic play that surprised the Saints and gave them a touchdown against when they defended a fourth chance. In 4ª & 2, the coach Ron Rivera played with a closed formation, and when Christian McCaffrey prepared to run, stopped the race and threw a pass to a lonely TE Chris Manhertz who went 50 yards to the TD.
That’s how Carolina went ahead 7-0 against some Saints that were still out of their best form, as happened in the two most recent weeks since losing to the Cowboys. Then New Orleans approached in the first quarter with two field goals by Will Lutz to a point. The Saints’ offense continued to struggle to operate with a Drew Brees not exceeding 100 yards and with his attack of the two-headed monster on the ground, controlled until halftime.
It was not until the third quarter that could produce six points a driving offensive New Orleans and he did through his most dangerous man: Alvin Kamara. Runner # 41 took the ball and slipped away with a 16-yard run to turn the game around 12-7. The Panthers have lost six innings in a row after starting with 6-2.
However, the coach Sean Payton wanted to play the conversion of two points, to take off to a touchdown, but it backfired. Brees came out on the right and tried to connect with Michael Thomas – in a discreet game – but the pass was intercepted and returned to the diagonal by James Bradberry, running 100 yards to take those two points to Carolina.
Carolina (6-8) was limited to 247 total yards and 13 first and ten.
Drew Brees contributed 203 yards per pass for the Saints (12-2), who took advantage of a game over the Rams in the race to be the number one seed for the postseason.