Brees sharp as Saints beat Panthers

NEW ORLEANS -- Drew Brees passed for 313 yards and four touchdowns and the New Orleans Saints beat Carolina 31-13 on Sunday night to regain sole possession of first place in the NFC South and snap the Panthers' winning streak at eight games.

The Panthers' defense had not allowed more than two touchdowns in a game this season until the Saints scored three in the second quarter alone, when Brees completed 14 of 16 passes for 159 yards.

The Saints also became the only team this season to score more than 24 points against Carolina, which entered the game No. 1 in scoring defense, allowing 13.1 points per game.

Brees' first two scoring strikes went to Marques Colston, who made nine catches for 125 yards. Jimmy Graham added two TD catches, his second making it 31-6 in the fourth quarter.

New Orleans sacked Cam Newton five times and did not allow a touchdown until 5:15 remained.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

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