His 230 passing yards and a pair of scoring tosses in the first half, and quick thinking late, helped the Saints avoid disaster in the waning moments.More news: Gov. Pete Ricketts: 'Nebraska Is a Pro-Life State'
The Saints (12-5) did lose starting guard Andrus Peat in the first half with a broken fibula. He had to be carted off with his left leg immobilized.
Two plays later - an incomplete pass and a sack on Newton - the game, and Carolina's postseason, had ended with the Saints' 31-26 victory.
Carolina traveled 63 yards using 13 plays that got the team down to New Orleans' 7-yard line, but the Panthers were unable to cash in.
New Orleans will now deploy its multifaceted attack against Minnesota's vaunted D. Carolina, meanwhile, ends the season with a sense of what could have been.
"Our quarterback was out of the pocket", he said. But the Saints won the most important game between the teams on January 24, 2010, at the Superdome and two weeks later beat Indianapolis 31-17 in Super Bowl XLIV.More news: Ellen DeGeneres Emotionally Reveals That Her Father Elliott Has Died at 92
The Panthers scored only once in four trips to the redzone, a 14-yard touchdown pass from Newton to Greg Olsen.
Shortly after, Brees threw a 46-yard completion to Michael Thomas for a first-and-goal at the 5.
Let us not pretend that the New Orleans Saints have looked like a dominant football team over the past few weeks. The play turned into some good fortune for the Saints as it gave the Saints defense an extra 20 yards of cushion to work with.
Holding a five-point lead and facing fourth-and-2 near midfield at the 2-minute warning, the Saints attempted to go for a first down.
Ultimately, though, even though the Saints stand as significant favorites, this should still be a highly entertaining game to cap off wild-card weekend. With the Saints back in the playoffs for the first time since 2013, it will be interesting to see how Sean Payton's team handles the gauntlet that leads to Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis. If you go back and watch the film from past year, you will see Klein practically calling the offensive plays for his defense. The Saints have benefitted from rookie running back Alvin Kamara, 22, and veteran Mark Ingram, 28, as the New Orleans running game is averaging 4.7 yards per carry.More news: Intel & Micron To Go Their Separate Ways On NAND Development
The veteran quarterback, 38, was nearly ideal as he threw for 376 yards and two touchdowns. You can effectively take the first two games and toss them into the trash receptacle.