|Date of game: 12/7/2014
Recap: New Orleans vs. Carolina
New Orleans, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - Cam Newton had a hand in four of Carolina's five touchdowns, as the Panthers walked into the Superdome and embarrassed the New Orleans Saints by a 41-10 count on Sunday.
Newton passed for 226 yards and three touchdowns on 21-of-33 efficiency and rushed for 83 yards and another score on 12 carries for the Panthers (4-8-1), who suddenly find themselves back in the race for the NFC South crown.
"We did a great job of making them boo by halftime, which is always a great thing when you're the visiting team," Panthers safety and ex-Saint Roman Harper said. "To go on the road in a tough environment and win the way we did, as a fan I would be kind of frustrated, too."
Jonathan Stewart racked up a game-best 155 yards on the ground with a TD on 20 attempts, while Greg Olsen was Newton's top target with 10 receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown.
Drew Brees was contained for most of the contest, but threw for 235 yards and a score to Benjamin Watson for the Saints (5-8), who hadn't lost four in a row at home since 1999 -- Mike Ditka's final season as head coach.
Marques Colston totaled 72 yards on five catches, while the rushing tandem of Mark Ingram and Pierre Thomas was limited to 81 yards on 15 combined carries.
Kelvin Benjamin's 9-yard TD reception capped the opening possession of the contest, then Carolina went up 10-0 on its next touch as Graham Gano converted a 37-yard attempt. That score was set up by Ingram's fumble and Colin Cole's recovery at the Saints' 25.
One play after the ensuing kickoff, Brees was picked off by Bene Benwikere at his own 40. It took the Panthers six plays to reach the end zone, as Newton took it in himself from the two on 3rd-and-1.
Shayne Graham's 37-yard make put the Saints on the board early in the second quarter, but the hosts weren't able to respond after Newton hit Olsen for a 16-yard touchdown and 24-3 game with 2:14 left in the first half.
"I'd use the word frustrated, I'd use the word embarrassed, to go out there as a professional football team and play that way at home," Watson said. "The outplayed us, outhustled us, out-executed us. Even if we lose, it shouldn't be this lopsided with the talent we have."
Carolina's defense forced a three-and-out to begin the second half, then Stewart's 69-yard scamper on the Panthers' first snap of the third boosted Carolina's edge to 31-3.
Fozzy Whittaker later caught a Newton pass along the right sideline and dove for the pylon for a 26-yard strike.
Gano's 41-yarder early in the fourth provided a 41-3 margin, and Brees was only able to strike back with 5:29 to play as he found Watson for a 7-yard score.Game Notes
Ditka's Saints lost four straight in the Superdome from Oct. 10-Nov. 7, 1999
... New Orleans last allowed at least 40 points at home on Dec. 30, 2012 in a
44-38 loss to Carolina ... Panthers tight end Brandon Williams was ejected for
throwing a punch and incurring a personal-foul penalty during the scrum in the
end zone following Newton's 2-yard score ... Brees did become the fourth
quarterback in NFL history to pass for more than 55,000 yards.