(WVUE) - The Saints trailed the Panthers 20-3 at half, and the kicking game is to blame again. For the second week in a row, Will Lutz got a field goal blocked, and it was returned for a score. The Black and Gold momentarily caught a break when officials flagged a Panther for a block in the back.
A few plays later, Cam Newton would make amends for the penalty, hitting Ted Ginn Jr. for a 40-yard connection. The fantastic catch made the score 20-3
The Panthers got on the board early after forcing a Drew Brees fumble and getting the recovery off the sack. With a short field though, the Panthers could only muster a 32-yard field goal by Graham Gano.
The Saints answered with a field goal of their own on the very next drive of the game. Brees was 7 of 7 passing for 42 yards on the sequence, but settled for a Will Lutz 27-yard field goal to knot things up at 3.
Another Brees turnover led to more points for the Panthers in the second quarter. Brees threw a pick into triple coverage that was nabbed by Kurt Coleman, and that resulted in a Jonathan Stewart 1-yard touchdown run. The first touchdown of the contest gave the Panthers a 10-3 advantage.
A Gano 49-yard field goal under the three-minute mark gave the Panthers a 13-3 lead.