Panthers steal it all from the Saints with one drive

12/23/13 in NFL   |   BrianMaddock   |   1429 respect

FanIQ | Sports Rumors, Gossip, Blogs, News & Discussion ForumsThe New Orleans Saints defense was all but confident in their ability to stop the Carolina Panthers offense when they decided to go for one last all or nothing drive. And they had reason to be confident in their ability.
 
They had managed to stop the Panthers and had made four consecutive three-and-outs. Before that they had allowed the Panthers to score a field goal on during the second half on their first possession. And now they had limited them to a total of 16 yards on those possessions.
 
The Panthers then gained 65 yards over five plays that ended in a touchdown pass to Domenik Hixon from Cam Newton with 23 seconds left on the clock and the Panthers won the match 17-13.
 
The Saints almost had Newton on the first and last play but both times they just couldn’t get him.
 
Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan said that Newton was under a lot of pressure and just managed to make the right plays at the right time.
 
“He threw a lot of gutsy balls … (made) gutsy plays,” he said of Newton. “Honestly, I think there was still a lot of pressure coming from the middle and from the outsides. He just stepped up and made a couple of plays.”
 
During the first play, Jordan almost had Newton before he made a 37 yard gain. Jordan said that he almost had Newton that time and it was a wonder he managed to get by.
 
“I did. I’m not going to lie to you, I definitely thought I was going to get there. He released the ball and made a great play.”
 
Although the Saints put up quite a performance and limited the Panthers on a large scale, Newton managed to keep the plays coming and that endurance in the end was the factor that helped the Panthers keep the scales even and finally tip them in their favor.
 
Saints free safety Malcom Jenkins said that it was a close game though.
 
“I look at that play as an opportunity I probably could have had to make a difference. But you don’t make it. It’s a game of inches. He steps up and makes a great throw,” Jenkins said. “Talk about inches, inches away from being incomplete. And they made the catch.”
 
Cornerback Keenan Lewis said that Newton threw a good ball and that was the reason the Panthers won.
 
“He just made a good throw … he caught us in a coverage that he felt like he could make a play,” he said. “He’s got good trust in his receivers, and he threw a good ball.”
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