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Panthers vs. Saints, Week 17: For New Orleans, a tough season finally comes to a close

SB Nation's New Orleans Saints blog reacts to the team's home loss to the Carolina Panthers and the 2012 season coming to an end.

Chris Graythen

The New Orleans Saints once led the Carolina Panthers by the score of 24-13 in the third quarter, but the team's defense couldn't stop a nosebleed or specifically, DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert in the running game, ultimately leading to the team losing 44-38 at home.

The Panthers ran off four straight touchdowns with their running game and added a field goal late. Despite all the scoring, the Saints stormed back in the fourth, but a failed onside kick allowed Carolina to run out the clock.

Saints' Drew Brees threw for nearly 400 yards with four touchdowns, ending another marvellous season for the franchise quarterback.

The Saints didn't have anything at stake in the game, but a win would have given the team an even 8-8 record on the season and motivation for next year, if they needed even more, after the bounty fiasco left a dark cloud over the team's 2012 campaign.

While it wasn't the way New Orleans wanted to end the season, the end of the 2012 season may have been for the best for Saints fans, writes Hans Petersen of SB Nation's Saints blog, Canal Street Chronicles.

It was a very crappy way to end the year, and I'll just do my best to get out of the way and let our comments on this pitiful end to a pitiful season pave the way for a better and brighter 2013 for us all.