Saints, Panthers tied at 10 at halftime
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - With Drew Brees sidelined with a shoulder injury, Saints backup quarterback Luke McCown made his first start with New Orleans and came out on fire and led the Saints to an early 10-0 lead before the Panthers rallied to tie the game at 10.
McCown went 5-5 for 38 yards before throwing his first incompletion. The Saints gained 67 yards on the game's opening drive, and Zach Hocker kicked a 30-yard field goal for the first points of the day. McCown was 6-7 on the drive for 43 yards.
In the first quarter, McCown was 13-14 for 95 yards. He hit 14 of his first 15 passes overall for 100 yards. Mark Ingram capped off a 94-yard drive with a five-yard rushing touchdown to give the Saints a 10-0 lead.
Defensively, the Saints forced a punt on their first series, but Carolina drove 80 yards on its second possession with Cam Newton finding Greg Olsen on an 11-yard scoring strike to make it a 10-7 game.
McCown continued his sharp play with another solid throw before the half, finding Ben Watson on a 3rd-and-long, but the Saints came up just short of the first down and punted the football back to Carolina. McCown was 16-17 for 124 yards in the half, connecting with nine different receivers.
Before the half, Carolina mounted another scoring drive. Newton and Olsen combined on a 52-yard pickup in which Brandon Browner was beaten badly by Olsen. The Panthers settled for a 20-yard FG to tie the game at 10-10.
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