Saints fall apart in 2nd half, lose to Panthers 44-38

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saints logoThe Saints appeared to be rolling to their 8th win in their last 12 games.

But, Sunday in the Superdome, the wheels came off in the third quarter.

Three plays after a hotly contested replay review, Carolina’s Deangelo Williams ran 54 yards for a touchdown that sparked the Panthers to a 28-0 run and 44-38 defeat of the Saints.

The Panthers trailed 24-13 after a Drew Brees 19 yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham on the first possession of the second half. Two plays after the kickoff, Carolina tight end Greg Olsen caught a pass from Cam Newton and appeared to fumble.

Saints cornerback Johnny Patrick scooped up the ball and ran to the endzone for what the Saints thought was a touchdown. Officials ruled Olsen down, a ruling that was reversed on replay.

But, the officials said they couldn’t tell whether Patrick was in bounds when he recovered the football, so Carolina maintained possession.

The Panthers 28-0 run ended on a 12 yard touchdown run by Williams in the fourth quarter. Carolina outrushed the Saints 273-63.

The Saints set an NFL record for yards allowed in a 16 game season, 7,042. The Saints had to hold Carolina to under 282 yards. But, the Panthers had 287 yards at halftime. Carolina finished with 530 yards.

“On paper I guees were the worst defense ever, but I don’t think that’s the case based on the talent we have on this defense,” said defensive end Will Smith. “Unfortunately, we have that (the record), but I don’t think that is accurate.”
The Panthers, Saints, and Bucs all finished the season 7-9. The Panthers finished second in the NFC South via their two wins over the Saints.
The Saints finished third, via their two wins over the Bucs.
The Saints finished with their first losing record since the 2007 season. They had made three straight playoff appearances.