At one point, the FOX announcers called the game the first career start for defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove.
It wasn’t, but it surely felt like it was.
Hargrove started 15 games for the Rams in 2005, but he hadn’t returned to the starting lineup with any team since 2006. The converted defensive end, subbing for Kendrick Clancy (injured reserve), faded into oblivion thanks to one-year suspension. Reinstated in February, the Saints signed him in May.
Hargrove displayed his gratitude by delivering a pair of fumble recoveries in the closing minutes of Sunday’s game, helping to preserve a come-from-behind win for the Saints.
The first one came with 2:43 to play in the game, giving the Saints the ball near midfield. A foolish decision by the Saints, who led by three at the time, to call for a pass (which fell incomplete) on third down and with no Carolina timeouts remaining gave the Panthers another shot, forcing a punt with 2:29 to go.
But then the ball was downed inside the Carolina five, and on the very next play DeAngelo Williams put the ball on the ground.
Enter Hargrove, who saw it, grabbed it, stood up untouched, and walked into the end zone.
And so the Saints again came back from a double-digit deficit to secure a double-digit win, outscoring the Panthers 30-6 after spotting them 14.