Cam Newton might have played a few minutes of decent football all day.
But he picked the right few.
Newton led a last-minute touchdown drive to propel the Panthers to a 17-13 win over the Saints.
That improves them to 11-4, and clinches a playoff berth. They can wrap up the NFC South title and a bye with a win next week at Atlanta.
Newton found Domenik Hixon with a 14-yard touchdown pass with 0:23 left, capping a day when the passing games on both sides struggled in wet conditions.
Newton was 13-of-22 for 181 yards, with a touchdown and a pick.
But the Panthers battered Saints quarterback Drew Brees, sacking him six times and picking him off twice.
It was a remarkable comeback, considering they did it without wide receiver Steve Smith.
Smith left the game with a knee injury. A league source tells PFT it’s not considered to be drastic, but it was certainly enough to keep him out on a day when a third-quarter monsoon turned the field to mush.
But with a dwindling cast of targets, the Panthers needed their quarterback to lead them.
And though it was ugly at times, Cam Newtwon came up at the right time.