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Saints Squeak by Panthers

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The Carolina Panthers barely missed yet again on Sunday night. At this rate, that’s becoming the story thus far for the first half of the Panthers’ season.

The Panthers fell 30-27 to the New Orleans Saints at home with the offense looking good yet again and the defense looking subpar. Again. Cam Newton threw for 224 yards, 2 TDs and one interception in a 16/31 effort against the Saints defense. Steve Smith had three catches for 79 yards and a TD to continue on his blistering pace so far this season.

The running game also continued to wake up a little bit more on Sunday, with DeAngelo Williams running for 115 yards and a TD on nine carries, including a huge 69 yard TD run early in the game. Jonathan Stewart ran for 20 yards on six carries and Newton ran for 27 on seven carries. Williams and Stewart will have to continue to improve for the Panthers to win games.

Speaking of having to improve, the Panthers defense looked lethargic yet again versus the Saints, allowing Drew Brees to engineer a game-winning TD drive in the closing minutes of the game without putting up much of a fight at all. The LBs looked overmatched yet again, and had trouble covering any of the Saints receivers, especially Saints TE Jimmy Graham, who had 8 catches for 129 yards. The defense also had issues all night tackling Saints RB Darren Sproles, who had 51 yards on 11 carries.

The Panthers’ next game is on Sunday at Atlanta.

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