Panthers draw even with Saints late in first quarter


The Saints need a win and other results to go their way in order to be the top seed in the NFC and the Panthers aren’t showing any signs of rolling over to give them one.

Rookie running back Rodney Smith ran for a one-yard score that tied the game 7-7 with just under two minutes left to play in the first quarter. It’s the first NFL touchdown for Smith, who is starting with Christian McCaffrey and Mike Davis out of action.

The Saints opened the scoring with a touchdown catch by Jared Cook to cap their first possession of the afternoon. Drew Brees is 5-of-5 for 43 yards, but the team has managed just nine yards on five rushing attempts. With Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray out of action due to COVID protocols, Taysom Hill, Ty Montgomery, and Tony Jones have been in the backfield.

New Orleans will be the top seed if they and the Seahawks win their games while the Packers lose to the Bears.