Saints beat the Panthers at the buzzer

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The Panthers would not quit. The Panthers also almost started a riot, after getting a pass interference call on review late in the game.

But a late field goal miss gave Drew Brees one more chance, and that was more than they could overcome.

Brees drove the Saints into position for a game-winning field goal by Wil Lutz, beating the Panthers 34-31 on the final play of the game.

The Saints improved to 9-2, and have a four-game lead in the NFC South, the kind of margin this game never offered.

The Panthers (5-6) trailed 14-0 early, but came back to make it a game, with Kyle Allen recovering and doing what he has done so well all year — get it to Christian McCaffrey.

Allen threw for three touchdowns and didn’t turn the ball over, and McCaffrey finished with 133 yards from scrimmage and two scores. The Panthers also got 126 yards and two touchdowns from D.J. Moore, but their special teams problems were their undoing.

The Panthers had a chance to take a lead late, but Joey Slye‘s missed field goal ruined their party, after they angered the locals by getting a pass interference call on review. After everything the Saints have endured, losing that way would have created a scene.

But Slye’s miss (his third of the day, along with two extra points), allowed the Saints to escape.

Brees finished 30-of-39 for 311 yards, with three touchdowns and an interception. Michael Thomas caught 10 passes for 101 yards and a score, and topped the 100-catch barrier in his team’s 11th game.