Originally posted on Fox Sports Carolinas  |  Last updated 9/16/12
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Cam Newton threw for 253 yards and ran for a career-high 71 yards as the Carolina Panthers defeated New Orleans 35-27 on Sunday to hand the Saints their first 0-2 start since 2007. One week after tying a franchise low with 10 yards rushing in a 16-10 loss to Tampa Bay, the Panthers rediscovered their running game against a porous Saints defense. The Panthers ran for 219 yards and Newton, DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert all scored on short touchdown runs. Steve Smith overcame a sore knee to finish with 104 yards receiving -- the 39th 100-yard receiving game of his career -- and Jonathan Stewart hauled in a 17-yard touchdown reception for the Panthers (1-1). The Saints' defense is truly a mess, having surrendered 924 yards and 75 points in two games. Drew Brees had won his previous five starts against Carolina. He threw for 325 yards, but was intercepted twice, including once by Charles Godfrey, who returned it 9 yards for a touchdown. The Panthers only sacked Brees once but pressured him into getting rid of the ball early several times and into a pair of intentional grounding penalties. Carolina's defense gained revenge on the Saints for their loss in Week 17 last season when Brees threw for 389 yards and five scores while pursuing NFL single-season records. The Panthers lost that game 45-17 and several players, including Godfrey, said earlier this week that was "a slap in the face." The last time the Saints started 0-2 was five years ago, when they finished 7-9 and failed to make the playoffs. Brees got off to a good start Sunday by completing all six passes for 55 yards on the Saints' opening drive, including a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham. After converting just two of 11 third-down conversions last week, the Saints seemed to rectify that problem on the game's opening drive. Brees completed third-down passes of 18 and 15 yards to Darren Sproles before connecting on a 1-yard touchdown pass to Graham to complete an 11-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. It was the second straight week the Panthers gave up a touchdown on the opening drive. But the defense would redeem itself on the next possession when Godfrey stepped in front of a rollout pass by Brees and returned it 9 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 7. After two field goals by Garrett Hartley, the Panthers found their stride in the second quarter with Newton engineering a pair of eight-play touchdown drives. Running the zone read option to perfection, Newton kept the Saints off balance running eight times for 66 yards in the opening half and coordinator Rob Chudzinski used a variety of well-designed plays to confuse the Saints. Newton's previous high single-game high was 65 yards rushing set last season at home against Tampa Bay, but he broke that mark before the end of the first half with his eighth carry of the game. Pierre Thomas had 110 yards rushing for the Saints and Sproles had 13 receptions for 128 yards receiving.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Oregon headed to first Final Four in 78 years as Jordan Bell & Tyler Dorsey dominate Kansas

This is the Gonzaga we’ve been waiting for

Jets won’t rule out selecting another QB in 2017 NFL Draft

Rougned Odor threw a cup of water into Felix Hernandez’s face on the field

Michael Irvin rips Texans for not trading for Tony Romo

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Richard Sherman on trade talk: ‘I just laugh it off, man’

Grumpy writer complains about 'SI for Kids' reporter

Report: Archie Miller closing in on seven-year deal to coach Indiana

Alex Rodriguez said he 'made an ass of' himself denying PED allegations

LaVar Ball finally got what he deserved

Adrian Peterson makes statement, says it is ‘not all about the money’

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker