Quick Take: Saints pound host Panthers

It was over when ...
The Panthers failed to capitalize on Julius Peppers' interception at the 42-yard-line at the end of the first quarter. Carolina was already up 3-0 and could have kept the pressure on New Orleans with a score, but instead they gave the Saints renewed hope and never had a chance the rest of the way.

Game balls
Aside from his one interception, Brees was nearly flawless. He made several big throws at key moments to move the chains (the Saints were 11-of-18 on third downs) and finished 24-of-36 for 260 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively for the Saints, Roman Harper led a much-maligned secondary with a great effort. He had five tackles, an interception and a forced fumble as New Orleans picked off three passes and held Carolina to just 152 yards passing.

Key stat
Once it got into the red zone, New Orleans made it a habit to deliver with touchdowns. They got inside the Panthers 20 on four occassions and hit paydirt every time.

Noteworthy
Saints running back Reggie Bush had a shin injury coming into the game and played sparingly, rushing only nine times for 32 yards. ... Panthers quarterback David Carr was benched in the second half for ineffectiveness.

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