By STEVE REED
AP Sports activities Author
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Drew Brees shredded the league’s prime-ranked protection, throwing for 220 yards and three touchdowns because the New Orleans Saints defeated the beforehand unbeaten Carolina Panthers 34-thirteen on Sunday.
Brees led six scoring drives and threw TD passes to Michael Thomas, Brandon Coleman and ex-Panthers broad receiver Ted Ginn Jr. because the Saints prevented an zero-three begin. Rookie Alvin Kamara put the sport away with a 25-yard TD run with four:forty two left.
Carolina had solely allowed six factors in its earlier two video games.
The Saints’ protection, which got here in ranked thirty second within the league, intercepted Cam Newton 3 times and sacked him 4 occasions earlier than he was changed late within the fourth quarter. Lots of Newton’s throws have been both too exhausting or excessive because the seventh-yr quarterback continued to wrestle together with his rhythm following offseason shoulder surgical procedure.
The Panthers, who have been already with out injured Professional Bowl tight finish Greg Olsen, misplaced extensive receiver Kelvin Benjamin within the first quarter to a knee damage; his leg received bent again awkwardly after being dragged down from behind. Carolina’s solely actual offense got here from rookie operating again Christian McCaffrey, who had a hundred and one yards receiving on 9 catches.
The Saints led 17-6 when Ginn beat cornerback James Bradberry down the center of the sector for a forty-yard landing reception to interrupt it open. It was the identical sort of massive play Ginn offered for the Panthers in earlier seasons.
Brees was sharp all day, finishing 22 of 29 passes.
Brees has thrown for 1,252 yards and 12 touchdowns with three interceptions in his final 4 video games towards the Panthers. Newton entered the sport with 19 profession landing passes and 7 interceptions towards the Saints. This marked the primary time he is ever thrown multiple interception in a recreation vs. New Orleans.
GANO STAYS PERFECT: Panthers kicker Graham Gano entered coaching camp in a battle for his job, however the veteran added two extra area objectives on Sunday and is eight for eight on the season.
NO DOUBTING THOMAS: Carolina had no reply early on for Thomas, who caught 5 passes for 50 yards and a landing on the Saints’ opening drive. Thomas completed with 87 yards receiving on seven catches.
DICKSON A NONFACTOR: Ed Dickson changed Olsen at tight finish for the Panthers, however was a nonfactor within the passing recreation. As an alternative, most of Newton’s beneath passes went to McCaffrey. Olsen’s streak of enjoying in one hundred sixty straight video games got here to an finish resulting from a damaged foot.
NATIONAL ANTHEM: No less than a dozen Saints gamers sat on the bench for the nationwide anthem. Not one of the Panthers gamers on the sideline sat or kneeled in protest.
Saints: DT David Perry, added to the fifty three-man roster this week, left with a left leg damage within the first half.
Panthers: Along with Benjamin, LB Thomas Davis left briefly with a rib damage, however did return.
Saints: They head throughout the ocean to face the Miami Dolphins in London subsequent Sunday.
Panthers: They journey to New England subsequent Sunday.
Copyright 2017 The Related Press. All rights reserved. This materials is probably not revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.