For the Saints, there was no Monday night hangover. Instead it was more like a Sunday night smack down in the Superdome, where according to the voice of the Saints, Jim Henderson, the Saints caught fire in the second quarter and simply overwhelmed the Panthers to the finish.
"80, 86, and 76 yard drives for the Saints for touchdowns. The Panthers had not yielded that many points in a single quarter all year long to anybody. They had all sorts of stats for Carolina about how difficult this defense was to score against, to move against. They're allowing only 13 points per game coming into it and the Saints get 21 in the second quarter alone. When Darren Sproles broke loose on that run at the end of the first quarter, that 38 yard run, it just seemed to loosen everybody up. The Saints got on a roll, they started picking up some first downs, and once you get a couple of those first downs going for the Saints, they seem to gather momentum and they seem to play at that tempo and with that expertise as they did."
The usual primetime performers came to play. Drew Brees was nearly unstoppable, he threw for over 300 yards and four touchdowns, two of those went to Marques Colston. Over the last eight years, Brees and Colston have become one the most lethal quarterback-receiver combinations in the NFL, even if no one seems to recognize it outside of the city of New Orleans:
"Marques Colston is going to be the leading Saints receiver of all time before it's all over and he belongs probably in the ring of honor on the façade for what he's done."
Defensively, Rob Ryan's crew bounced back in a big way after getting shell-shocked in Seattle. They contained the dynamic Cam Newton, allowed just 13 points and came up with five sacks, each of which seemed to come at exactly the right time:
"They had just a great plan. Cam Newton is not going to stand back there and go through three or four progressions. He's going to stand back there and look at one guy and if he's not open, he's going to take off and with his ability to run, he can do. Well the Saints contained him with a pass rush, put just enough pressure on him so that he wasn't able to stand back there all day and when he did scramble, for the most part, they were able to get him. And you could see he was inaccurate most of the time, they don't have a lot of weapons in their passing attack and they're not build to come from behind."