With the lead in the NFC South on the line, the Saints made an emphatic statement on their opening possession. But then the Panthers answered, setting the stage for what could be a classic.
Rookie running back Alvin Kamara just scored on a fourth down conversion, breaking a couple of tackles as the Saints took a 7-0 lead.
Kamara had 38 of the 68 yards on the 11-play march, which saw the Saints assert themselves. He had two carries for 10 yards, including the 2-yard touchdown.
The Panthers have been inconsistent offensively this year, capable of great highs and great lows. And it looks like they might have to have Good Cam Newton if they want to keep pace today.
He led them right back downfield for a touchdown drive of their own, with Jonathan Stewart plunging in over the pile.
The Panthers and Saints have played some interesting games over the years, but having both teams running like this is a departure from the norm.