Saints defense rises to the occasion

Facing the talented Cam Newton and a Panthers team riding an 8-game winning streak, the Saints defense put up a brick wall in a 31-13 victory.

"We just knew that we had to contain Cam tonight because the guy is incredible with his legs and has a strong arm, and we did that job tonight," linebacker Junior Galette said. "Contain him and Steve Smith, give us the ability to put offense on the scoreboard early."

The Black-and-Gold held Carolina to just 239 yards and 13 points, while forcing five sacks to match their season high. Each sack came on a critical third down, and they added up for a combined loss of 49 yards.

Head coach Sean Payton added, "Those are earned sacks against him, he's difficult to bring down. Not only with his mobility, but with his strength. Sometimes we were rushing three, sometimes five. But those guys did a real good job and took advantage of the downs and distances, took advantage of the crowd noise and that was pleasing."

With his amazing, three sack performance last night, Junior Galette has now tallied 9 sacks this season. But Cam Jordan had two more, and he now leads the team with 11.5. One more for Junior Galette though, and these two players would become the first Saints duo to both hit the 10-sack mark in nearly a decade, Darren Howard and Charles Grant in 2004.

"It's all about the defensive effort that was pushed forth," defensive end Cam Jordan said. "From corners to linebackers, to really I'm always proud of the interior d-linemen. You got John Jenkins pushing the middle,you got Akiem Hicks, Tom Johnson, Brodrick Bunkley and Junior on the edge that did a phenomenal job today."

Junior Galette added, "We got a young, talented defense, and we're hungry to prove the world on Sunday night football what we're made of."

And collectively, the Saints (10-3) proved they are in fact, the best of the NFC South division.