NEW ORLEANS — Drew Brees was vintage Brees.
New Orleans’ record-setting quarterback threw for nearly 300 yards while completing 80.5 percent of his passes against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. That combined with two Will Lutz field goals and a late stop by the defense led the Saints to a 27-24 win over the Panthers inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
With the victory, the Saints improve to 4-2 overall on the season.
How It Happened:
The Saints opened up the game with a methodical 14-play, 75-yard drive which featured seven run plays and seven pass plays. The drive was capped with a four-yard touchdown pass from Brees to tight end Jared Cook.
Carolina responded with a nine-play, 50-yard drive but the Panthers had to settle for a 43-yard field goal by Joey Slye.
The Saints then scored to start the second quarter as Brees dove in from one-yard out to wrap up a nine-play, 78-yard drive.
Carolina responded as Teddy Bridgewater found wide receiver D.J. Moore behind the New Orleans secondary for a 74-yard touchdown. Then the Panthers’ defense stepped up and forced a turnover.
With the ball at the Carolina 25-yard line, defensive end Brian Burns blew past left tackle James Burns (who was in for the injured Terron Armstead) and sacked Brees from his blindside — forcing a fumble.
Bridgewater then led the Panthers on a nine-play, 65-yard drive which ended with a seven-yard touchdown pass from Bridgewater to Moore. With a few minutes before halftime, Carolina held a 17-14 lead.
Brees though would lead the Saints to one final touchdown drive before halftime as he guided the team on a eight-play, 75-yard drive. Brees capped it with a four-yard touchdown to Deonte Harris.
At the break, New Orleans led 21-17.
After forcing Carolina to punt on the opening drive of the second half, New Orleans extended its lead with a 41-yard field goal by Will Lutz. The Saints though had to settle for the field goal after an 11-yard touchdown was called back due to offensive pass interference.
Carolina would tie the game on its next possession as the Panthers put together an eight-play, 75-yard drive as Curtis Samuel ran for a five-yard touchdown.
New Orleans would then reclaim the lead in the fourth quarter with a 43-yard field goal by Lutz.
Carolina would drive down the field but on third down, Marcus Davenport sacked Bridgewater for a loss of eight yards. Slye then came out and attempted a 65-yard field goal attempt that was short by one yard.
The Saints then ran out the clock to secure the win.
Big Number: 18-of-20
With Carolina Panthers’ fourth touchdown of the game — a five-yard run by Curtis Samuel late in the third, opposing teams have now scored touchdowns on 18 of 20 trips in the red zone. If you add field goals, opposing teams have scored 19 of 22 times.
Player of the Game: Drew Brees & Alvin Kamara
Brees set the tone right away as he started the game completing his first nine passes for 74 yards. Brees would end the day completing 29-of-36 passes for 287 yards and two touchdown passes. Brees also had a one-yard rushing touchdown. Kamara meanwhile came up with several tough runs and catches. Kamara had 83 rushing yards on 14 carries while catching eight passes for 65 yards.
Next Up: New Orleans plays at Chicago on Sunday. Kickoff is set for 3:25 p.m.