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Saints vs. Panthers Score: DeAngelo Williams Touchdown Gives Carolina 7-6 Lead After First Half

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The Carolina Panthers take a 7-6 lead over the New Orleans Saints into the locker room after one half of play at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte thanks to a late touchdown run by DeAngelo Williams. Thirty minutes remain to decide who will win the NFC South title.

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints played well on both sides of the ball for most of the first half, but their 6-0 lead was wiped out after a Drew Brees interception followed immediately by a DeAngelo Williams touchdown run late in the second quarter.

The Saints had a 157-97 advantage in total yardage and a 19:35/10:25 edge in time of possession, yet trail 7-6 at half.

Drew Brees has taken a beating in the first 30 minutes of play, getting sacked 5 times already thanks to terrible protection from the offensive line. The run game has been surprisingly effective, thanks to an impressive 34-yard Mark Ingram run.

Except for the touchdown run the Saints defense has played very well, forcing three 3-and-outs.

New kicker Shayne Graham is perfect on the day.

Kenny Vaccaro may have a broken left ankle. He is out for the game and may be done for the 2013 season. Roman Harper will need to step up and play well.

Panthers receiver Steve Smith is out for the rest of the game with a knee injury.

First Half Stats

NO CAR
First Downs 8 5
Total Yards 157 97
Passing Yards 87 33
Rushing Yards 70 64
Penalties (Yds) 3(25) 2(21)
Turnovers 1 1
Punts (AVG) 4(42) 4(49)
Time of Pos. 19:35 10:25

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Passing CP/AT YDS TD INT
D. Brees 17/24 124 0 1
Rushing CAR YDS TD LG
M. Ingram 4 50 0 34
D. Brees 1 9 0 9
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
M. Colston 5 63 0 35
D. Sproles 3 18 0 8
B. Watson 2 26 0 22
CAROLINA PANTHERS
Passing CP/AT YDS TD INT
C. Newton 5/9 61 0 1
Rushing CAR YDS TD LG
D. Williams 7 56 1 43T
T. Ginn 1 7 0 7
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
S. Smith 1 44 0 44
G. Olsen 1 11 0 11
D. Hixon 1 4 0 4