Panthers vs. Saints final score: Carolina defeats New Orleans in high scoring affair, 44-38

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina running back DeAngelo Williams finished with 210 rushing yards and two touchdowns in a 44-38 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

In an NFC South showdown without playoff implications, the Carolina Panthers defeated the New Orleans Saints on Sunday by a final score of 44-38.

The Panthers were down 17-13 at halftime and trailed 24-13 early in the third quarter following a touchdown reception by tight end Jimmy Graham. But Carolina put up 28 straight points, all coming from running backs DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert, which proved to be enough to hold off a late surge by New Orleans.

Winners

The entire Carolina Panthers organization, which recovered from a 2-8 start to win five of its last six games. Obviously, the Panthers wish they could've competed for a spot in the postseason, but the strong finish has to be encouraging going into next season.

Losers

Fans of hard-nosed, defensive battles. That was not the case in today's game.

Stat of the game

The Panthers put up 530 yards of total offense, including 273 rushing yards.

Fantasy studs/duds

DeAngelo Williams had 213 total yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries, and backup Mike Tolbert added three more touchdowns to go with 47 total yards.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees finished with 396 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. Three of his targets--Marques Colston, Darren Sproles and Jimmy Graham--finished with at least 50 yards and a touchdown.

For a team that put up 44 points, opposing quarterback Cam Newton put up fairly pedestrian numbers. He finished with 248 yards, no touchdowns and an interception.

Did they cover?

New Orleans entered the game as four point favorites, but failed to cover in the defeat.

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