New Orleans Saints Stymie Carolina Panthers’ Upset Attempt In 16-14 Win
October 3rd, 2010-  By Bryan Cross

It has been a little bit different year through four weeks of the 2010 NFL Season for the defending Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints.  The high-flying offensive attack that opposing NFL defenses became accustomed to seeing has not quite been there.  Still, New Orleans managed to find a way to win Sunday afternoon against the NFC South foe Carolina Panthers in a 16-14 win thanks to three John Carney field goals.

It was perhaps ironic that Carney knocked through three field goals just a week after Garrett Hartley missed a 29-yarder in over time last week that would have given the Saints a victory over the Atlanta Falcons.  Instead they lost a tough one at home, and needed signed Carney this week.  He came through.

“It’s a great situation,” Carney said. “I feel blessed and fortunate to have the opportunity to come back here and help the Saints, whether in a playing capacity or coaching capacity.”

His quarterback Drew Drees had his back.

“He’s just a pro. That’s all you can say,” said Brees. “It’s just ingrained in him. He’s one of these very focused, very regimented guys.”

Brees and the offense were able to move the ball well, but that did not translate into points in the end zone.

“This was a 30-point day we turned into 16 points with turnovers and a lack of execution,” Brees said in a post-game interview.

“We’re going to save all the scoring and everything else until the end of the season I guess, which isn’t so bad,” Brees added. “We haven’t scored like we’re used to scoring and yet we’re 3-1 and a field goal away from being 4-0.”

On the other sideline, rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen was starting his second-straight game, completing 11 of 20 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown.  That touchdown was a 55-yard pass to running back Jonathan Stewart.

Carolina actually controlled a 14-10 midway through the third quarter, holding it until Carney kicked the go ahead field goal with 3:55 left.  For a while it looked as if the Saints would give the Panthers their first win of the season.

Entering the game, the Saints were set as a 12.5-point favorite on USA Online Sportsbooks and NFL Weekly Betting Odds, with the over/under set at 43.5 points.  Carolina covered the spread, with the game’s total going the under.

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