The New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers have played each other 42 times since 1995. These two divisional foes have had some memorable battles over the past couple of decades, but the Panthers have had the Saints’ number by leading the all-time series 23-19. Being on the losing side three straight times and only winning two of the last eight, the Saints could certainly use some magic on their side when these two clash in Week 6.
We take a look at five of the best home victories the Saints have had over the Panthers from the past two decades.
November 26, 1995 - Saints 34, Panthers 26
It’s hard to ignore the Panthers first trip to the Crescent City, which started fairly normal, but then got a little odd. Carolina would take an early 3-0 lead, but the Saints answered with touchdowns from Mario Bates and Quinn Early to go up 14-3. Kerry Collins would counter with a 60-yard pass to Willie Green and convert the ensuing 2-point conversion to cut the lead to 14-11.
The Saints would end up scoring 13 unanswered points thanks to two Doug Brien field goals and another Mario Bates touchdown. The Panthers were able to get into the end zone late in the third quarter after a Mark Carrier touchdown, and then attempted and converted another 2-pointer.
The Saints would get the go-ahead score from Derek Brown and eventually hold on for a 34-26 victory. So, why was it an odd game despite the two 2-point conversions? The game featured 10 total turnovers. Collins threw four picks and the Panthers had four total fumbles while the Saints fumbled it three times and had a Jim Everett pick.
December 8, 2013 - Saints 31, Panthers 13
The resurgence of the 2013 Saints was highlighted by a 8-0 home record, and this Week 14 matchup got so much attention that it was flexed to Sunday Night Football to replace the Atlanta Falcons-Green Bay Packers game. In a matchup of two 9-3 squads, it totally favored the Saints.
The Panthers started with a customary lead, going up 6-0 after two Graham Gano field goals. The Saints offense would rattle off 31 unanswered points primarily led by Drew Brees’ 30-for-42, 313-yard performance in which he had four touchdown passes. Marques Colston finished with 9 receptions for 125 yards and two scores, and Jimmy Graham had two receiving touchdowns.
Rob Ryan’s defense sacked Cam Newton five times on the evening, which all came from Cameron Jordan (2) and Junior Galette (3). The Panthers would even up the score just two weeks later.
December 2, 2001 - Saints 27, Panthers 23
Sitting at 5-5, the Saints needed a victory to keep their playoff chances alive in 2001. This NFC West clash saw a little bit of everything, but it was one particular play that got the attention of fans across the NFL. If there was a C’Mon Man! segment back then, the sure-handed Joe Horn touchdown that was nullified by back judge Phil Luckett would have been the top play.
Still, it wasn’t enough to keep the Saints from victory that day, as a heavy dose of Ricky Williams (27 carries, 102 yards and 4 receptions for 72 yards) and Joe Horn (13-150-TD) would power the team to a 27-23 victory at home. It was also aided by an eight-sack performance and allowing the Panthers just 150 total yards of offense.
November 8, 2009 - Saints 30, Panthers 20
Long before Cam Newton was a thing, the Saints faced off against Louisiana native Jake Delhomme. Delhomme had his former squad’s number, finishing 8-3 against the Saints in his career. This was his last outing against the black and gold, which he’d love to forget.
The then 7-0 Saints were riding a major high after a big Monday Night Football victory over the Atlanta Falcons, and the hangover showed early when battling the Panthers. The Saints would find themselves in a 14-0 hole early thanks to two De’Angelo Williams scores, and were down 17-6 by halftime.
Back when the Saints were notorious for being a second half team, they caught their stride and were able to tie things up at 20 after a 54-yard Drew Brees bomb to Robert Meachem. A John Carney field goal with less than five minutes to go put the Saints ahead by three, and then the magic happened.
Anthony Hargrove would force a sack/fumble on Delhomme and recover it for a Saints touchdown to put the team up for good 30-20. The post-play reaction from Delhomme was priceless. It was the first time the Saints had defeated the Panthers at home since 2001.
January 1, 2012 - Saints 45, Panthers 17
The 2011 regular season finale did not disappoint, as the Saints rolled in impressive fashion after trading punches early. Chris Ivory got the scoring started after a 35-yard rushing touchdown, and the Panthers would counter with a Steve Smith touchdown. Then, Brees would take the Saints on a 9 play, 80-yard drive that was capped off by a 15-yard touchdown grab by Marques Colston to go up 14-7.
The teams would trade field goals during the second quarter until Jonathan Stewart tied things up at 17. That was it from the Panthers, as Brees found Marques Colston again on a 42-yard touchdown reception to put the Saints up 24-17.
The Saints would dominate the second half by having three scoring drives end in touchdowns. Brees finished 28-for-35 for 389 yards, 5 touchdowns, and one interception.