The New Orleans Saints defeated the Carolina Panthers 34-31 Sunday afternoon in New Orleans. This was the 50th all-time meeting between the two teams and the series is now tied 25-25.
Kyle Allen played like the quarterback we saw in Week’s 3-6 this season. He finished the day 23-36, 256 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Kyle Allen connected with D.J. Moore on a 51-yard touchdown pass to get the Panthers on the board after falling behind 14-0.
Allen proved himself to be an asset to this Panthers’ offense. Kyle Allen was the first quarterback in NFL history to win his first 5 starts (one dating back to last season) and not throw an interception. Kyle Allen threw 9 picks in his last four games coming into today’s game against the Saints. Today he threw none.
D.J. Moore is solidifying himself as the Panthers’ No. 1 Wideout. Moore’s 51-yard catch was topped in the third quarter when Allen and Moore connected again for a 52-yard catch and run which got the Panthers to the Saints’ 20-yard line. Moore had over 100 yards receiving for the third time in four games. He was five yards short of 100 yards last week against Atlanta. Moore entered today’s game with one touchdown on the season. Today, he hauled in 6 catches for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns.
It was a hard fought battle between the two teams. The Panthers dominated the second quarter and kept the ball out of Drew Brees’ hands. The Panthers led the Saints in every offensive category in the second quarter. The Panthers had 11 first downs. The Saints had none. The Panthers had 100 total yards and the Saints only had five. Most importantly, the Panthers outscored the Saints 9-0.
A sore spot for the Panthers today was Kicker Joey Slye. Joey Slye proved himself to be a reliable kicker for the Panthers with Gano out for the season due to injury. Slye has been a sniper when it comes to long field goals including 50-yarders, but it was the short game that got the best of him today. Slye missed two extra points and the potential game-winning 28-yard field goal in today’s 3-point loss. Before the missed field goal, Ron Rivera challenged a pass interference no-call on the Saints after a failed third down conversion. The call was overturned and the Panthers were given an extra three plays. They couldn’t find the end zone and what would’ve been a 24-yard field goal was now a 28-yarder. Keep in mind the Saints play in a dome. It’s impossible for weather to play a role in a field goal attempt. Slye missed the field goal and Drew Brees and the Saints took over and marched right down the field. Will Lutz hit the game-winning field goal for the Saints as time expired and New Orleans won 34-31.
This loss for the Panthers carries a lot of weight. The Panthers have now lost 4 of their last 5 games. This game also marks the sixth time the Saints have beaten Carolina in the last 8 matchups. Monday, Panthers Owner David Tepper met with members of media to discuss the future of the franchise and how he doesn’t want this franchise to be mediocre anymore.
This is David Tepper’s second season as an owner. Tepper has yet to bring in any of his own people to the Panthers organization and that will most likely change soon. Head Coach Ron Rivera is fighting for his job. He called a great game today, but unfortunately the Panthers couldn’t execute.
The Panthers have now lost back-to-back NFC South division games and fall to 5-6 on the season- virtually ending any hopes for a playoff spot for the Cardiac Cats.