The New Orleans Saints kept their postseason hopes alive with a 18-10 win over the Carolina Panthers inside Caesar’s Superdome on Sunday afternoon.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Carolina scored on its opening possession as the Panthers put together a 12-play, 61-yard drive. New Orleans’ defense held and Carolina settled for a 32-yard field goal by Lirim Jajrullahu.
New Orleans scored on its ensuing possession as the Saints went 52 yards on eight plays, but just as the Panthers were forced to settle for three points, so did the Saints. Brett Maher made the 41-yard field goal to tie the game 3-3.
Carolina took the lead by marching 81 yards on 10 plays on its ensuing possession. This time the Panthers found the end zone as Chubba Hubbard took the handoff and went around the right side for a 21-yard touchdown run.
After the offense went three-and-out, the Saints forced a turnover as PJ Williams sacked Sam Darnold and forced a fumble, which Marcus Davenport recovered.
New Orleans’ offense failed to pick up a first down and were forced to settle for a 27-yard field goal by Maher.
The Saints managed to make it a one-point deficit right before halftime as Maher hit a 41-yard field goal. At the break, Carolina held a slim 10-9 lead.
New Orleans took its first lead of the game with little more than two minutes left in the third quarter. With a short field, the Saints went 23 yards and Maher made his fourth field goal of the game — this time from 33 yards out..
Carolina looks poised to reclaim the lead with a 10-play, 44-yard drive that ended in the fourth. Marshon Lattimore kept the Panthers picking up a first down with an open field tackle of Robby Anderson. The Panthers had to settle for a 47-yard field goal which Jajrullahu missed.
The Saints took advantage as the team went 63 yards on seven plays and the drive was capped with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Taysom Hill to Alvin Kamara. The extra point was no good but New Orleans held the 18-10 lead.
BIG NUMBER: 7
After a slow start, the Saints defense stepped up and pressured Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold all game. The Saints recorded seven sacks in the game
PLAYERS OF THE GAME: CAM JORDAN & BRETT MAHER
The Saints defensive end led the team on defense as he recorded 3.5 sacks in the game, which helped him eclipse 10 sacks on the season for the sixth time in his career. Maher meanwhile made all four of his field goal attempts in the game.
UP NEXT: The New Orleans Saints (8-8) close out the regular season on Sunday at the Atlanta Falcons (7-9). Kickoff is set for noon.