2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Panthers' 8-game win streak ended by Saints 31-13

By GUERRY SMITH - Associated Press
    2013-12-09 00:38

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Carolina's franchise-record eight-game winning streak came crashing down under the New Orleans Saints' home dominance.

In a matchup of NFC South co-leaders, the Panthers played well for a quarter and then fell apart as the Saints improved to 7-0 in the Superdome, winning 31-13 on Sunday night to regain control of the division.

Everything that had gone well for Carolina in the last two months disappeared. Quarterback Cam Newton was sacked five times and produced zero touchdowns until late in the fourth quarter, when the game was out of reach. The Panthers allowed three touchdowns in the second quarter after not giving up more than two in any game this season.

''I'm surprised and disappointed,'' Carolina coach Ron Rivera said. ''We're a better team than we played today.''

Even the Panthers' good start led to frustration. They converted three consecutive third downs on the opening possession, but Newton was sacked on third-and-4 from the New Orleans 20, forcing them to settle for Graham Gano's 45-yard field goal.

After forcing a three-and-out on the Saints' first series, Carolina drove to the New Orleans 6 but had to kick another field goal.

''You get down in the red zone, you have to score touchdowns,'' Rivera said. ''You can't beat a good team, especially a team that is as explosive as these guys are and expect to win with field goals.''

The Saints responded with touchdowns, carving up a Carolina defense that had allowed the fewest points in the league coming in. Drew Brees finished with 313 yards and four TDs passing while becoming the fifth QB in NFL history to surpass 50,000 career yards through the air.

New Orleans scored on consecutive drives of 80, 86 and 76 yards in the second quarter. Brees finished off each with a touchdown toss, hitting wide receiver Marques Colston for the first two and finding tight end Jimmy Graham for the third.

''We just had great balance,'' Brees said. ''Marques came up with some huge catches, as did Jimmy. The line did a great job ... and the defense did a great job of getting us the ball.''

Brees went 6 for 6 for 76 yards New Orleans' third scoring drive, which started at the New Orleans 24 with 2:01 left and ended with Graham beating linebacker Luke Kuechly easily for a 5-yard scoring reception.

The Panthers never recovered. Newton went 22 of 34 for only 160 yards, his lowest passing total since a season-opening 12-7 loss to Seattle, and was under pressure all night.

''It was a great measuring stick for who we are and where we have to go,'' Newton said. ''The best thing about this is we have an opportunity to face this team again in two weeks (at Carolina). Those guys just were better than us today. Are they better than us? No.''

The Saints clearly were better in the dome. All five of their sacks came on third down, forcing the opening-drive field goal and four punts.

''It's tough,'' Carolina offensive tackle Jordan Gross said. ''Their home-field advantage is big. We couldn't her anything in the huddle. It was hard to communicate at the line.''

Carolina's kickers struggled, too. Gano was wide right on a 49-yard field goal that could have cut the deficit to 21-9 early in the third quarter. Brad Nortman had a punt bounce backwards and get downed after traveling 28 yards.

On this night, nothing worked. New Orleans limited Newton to a long completion of 17 yards and outgained Carolina 373-239. The Panthers allowed 31 points, a season high, as Brees completed 30 of 42 for 313 yards and four touchdowns.

''Hands down, we didn't want it today as much as they did,'' defensive end Greg Hardy said. ''I hate losing. It hurts. I'm going to be up tonight figuring out what I didn't do.''

NOTES: Carolina failed to force a turnover for the first time this year. . Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart left the game with a knee injury and River did not disclose the severity of it afterward. . Carolina had allowed an NFL-low nine scoring tosses entering the game. ... Brees also became the first NFL quarterback to pass for at least 4,000 yards in eight straight seasons and 30 TDs in six straight.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Dane FletcherMay 27 02:33a

Free-agent LB Dane Fletcher (Buccaneers) has returned to the New England Patriots on a one-year contract.

Devonta FreemanMay 26 09:53p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman worked with the first-team offense during organized team activities Tuesday, May 26.

Charles SimsMay 26 05:33p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims has a solid chance of beating out RB Doug Martin for Tampa Bay's starting running back gig, according to Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com.

A.J. JenkinsMay 26 01:02p

Free-agent WR A.J. Jenkins (Chiefs) signed an undisclosed deal with the Dallas Cowboys Tuesday, May 26, according to a source. Jenkins was the 30th overall pick by the San [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMay 26 08:43a

Updating an ongoing story, the Dallas Cowboys have moved on from the idea of trading for Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson, despite persistent rumors, according to The Dallas Morning [ More ]

A.J. McCarronMay 25 10:37p

Cincinnati Bengals QB AJ McCarron (shoulder) is healthy and hoping to push QB Andy Dalton in 2015. 'We wanted him in our building so bad and it happened and [ More ]

Ray McDonaldMay 25 04:42p

Updating previous reports, Chicago Bears DE Ray McDonald has been released Monday, May 25, just hours after being arrested for alleged domestic violence and child endangerment.

Adrian PetersonMay 25 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson still wants to be traded, according to a source. Peterson intends to skip all organized team activities, which would cause him to lose $250,000 in workout bonuses.

Adrian PetersonMay 24 09:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has informed head coach Mike Zimmer that he will not attend the optional practices that begin Tuesday, May 26, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

Tom BradyMay 22 04:32p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will have the appeal of his four-game suspension heard by commissioner Roger Goodell after the NFL rejected a motion by the NFL Players [ More ]

Tom BradyMay 22 03:32p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's appeal of his four-game suspension has not been scheduled at this time.

Ray RiceMay 22 11:42a

Free-agent RB Ray Rice (Ravens) could be a consideration for the Dallas Cowboys in free agency, speculates The Dallas Morning News' Jon Machota. He cites Cowboys owner and general [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMay 22 09:52a

Updating an ongoing story, Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson remains in pursuit of being traded or receiving a new contract and remains away from the organization during voluntary workouts. [ More ]

William BeattyMay 21 12:02p

Updating previous reports, New York Giants OT William Beatty (chest) underwent successful surgery Thursday, May 21, to repair a torn pectoral muscle. Beatty will need approximately five to six months of recovery time.

Derek CarrMay 20 10:23p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) will not need surgery on his injured finger and may be able to throw again before the end of offseason workouts, according to his agent.

Joseph RandleMay 20 09:23p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle is the most likely option to lead the team's running back by committee approach in 2015. Randle has the most experience in the system, [ More ]

William BeattyMay 20 03:53p

Updating previous reports, New York Giants OT William Beatty's (pectoral) torn pectoral will require surgery and Beatty's recovery time is expected to be around five months. Beatty suffered the [ More ]

William BeattyMay 20 03:33p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants OT William Beatty (shoulder) tore his pectoral while lifting weights Wednesday, May 20, according to a source, and will undergo surgery. One [ More ]

Josh HillMay 20 03:23p

New Orleans Saints TE Josh Hill is slated as the starting tight end this season with TE Jimmy Graham now in Seattle. TE Benjamin Watson could give Hill a run for his money, however.

William BeattyMay 20 03:13p

New York Giants OT William Beatty (shoulder) suffered a potentially serious shoulder injury while lifting weights Wednesday, May 20, according to a source. Surgery is a possibility.

Geno SmithMay 20 03:03p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith is the starting quarterback and will not see competition in training camp, according to offensive coordinator Chan Gailey.

Tom BradyMay 20 03:03p

Updating previous reports, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's appeal will not be affected by the team's decision to accept their sanctions. Commissioner Roger Goodell said he wants to [ More ]

Matt JonesMay 20 02:15p

Washington Redskins RB Matt Jones said that he loves the offense and has a chip on his shoulder after not being used properly while in college. 'My college career [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 20 08:53a

Updating a previous report, Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) is experiencing numbness in his right ring finger. He hopes to avoid surgery through rest and rehab, and no [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 19 06:13p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) has a right ring finger injury that could be surgically repaired. A return for training camp is still achievable, however, according to a source.

L. WashingtonMay 19 05:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR L'Damian Washington (undisclosed) was waived/injured Tuesday, May 19.

Shayne GrahamMay 19 03:03p

New Orleans Saints PK Shayne Graham was released Tuesday, May 19. Subsequently, free-agent WR Lance Lewis (49ers) was signed.

Joseph BarksdaleMay 19 02:23p

Free-agent OT Joseph Barksdale (Rams) will sign a one-year deal worth $350,000 with the San Diego Chargers, according to a source. The deal also comes with more than $1 million in incentives available.

Tom BradyMay 19 01:43p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will continue to appeal his four-game suspension, despite owner Robert Kraft saying the team will not appeal the discipline levied against them.

Jed CollinsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Tyler CluttsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Lache SeastrunkMay 18 02:42p

Tennessee Titans RB Lache Seastrunk was released Monday, May 18.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group