Saints and Panthers trading punches, Saints up 21-14

AP

The Saints were on the verge of running away with things. Literally.

But the Panthers got a turnover when they needed one, answered with a touchdown of their own, and kept things close.

The Saints lead 21-14 in the second quarter, after an impressive display of power running of their own.

Mark Ingram popped a 72-yard run and got the honor of finishing an all-run drive, and then Drew Brees hit Michael Thomas for a touchdown to push the advantage to 21-7. But the Panthers forced a Josh Hill fumble (safety Mike Adams made up for some egregious tackling earlier by punching the ball out), and answered with a Christian McCaffrey touchdown reception.

While the score’s close, the stat sheet isn’t. The Saints are outgaining the Panthers 246-154, and considering the Panthers are averaging allowing 288.3 yards per game (second in the league), it underscores how well the Saints are playing at the moment.