In a game of swings, the Carolina Panthers defeated the New Orleans Saints 44-38.
The Panthers controlled the early part of the game going up 10-0. The Saints then scored 24 of the next 27 points to take a 24-13 lead into the third quarter.
In what had to feel to Saints fans like a final nail in the coffin from the league to the Saints, referee Al Riveron blew an easy Saints challenge. Leading 24-13, the Saints looked ready to seize control in the third quarter. Panthers tight end Greg Olsen fumbled along the sideline in Carolina territory, and Saints defensive back Johnny Patrick appeared to recover it. Initially, the play was blown dead and Olsen ruled down. It was clear to everyone on the field, in the stadium, and on the broadcast (including former NFL head of officials, Mike Pereira) that the ball was fumbled and recovered by the Saints. Riveron agreed that the ball was fumbled but somehow declared that the Saints didn’t clearly recovered the ball.
A few plays later, the Panthers scored a touchdown and went on to score 28 straight to take control of the game. The Panthers had 5 rushing touchdowns in the game.
Drew Brees set yet another NFL record becoming the first quarterback to ever throw for over 5,000 yards in a season three times. He is also the first player in NFL history to pass for at least 4o touchdowns in consecutive season. On the other hand, the Saints defense set the record for most yards allowed in a season and became the first team in NFL history to allow more than 7,000 yards in a season.
The Panthers end the season with a 7-9 record after starting 1-6. The Saints also finish the season at 7-9 after starting 0-4.
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