Sunday, December 22, 2013

An unbelievable victory for Panthers over Saints

The Panthers came up with one of the most miraculous drives in team history Sunday, going 65 yards in the final minute with no timeouts Sunday for the game-winning TD to edge the New Orleans Saints, 17-13, in a rainy and raucous Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers (11-4) clinched a playoff berth with the victory.

Here are 5 things that went right in a very tight game:

1) The defense. Holding the Saints to 13 points is a fairly amazing feat. The Panthers intercepted Drew Brees twice (Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly) and sacked him numerous times. The only hiccup was a big one -- a 97-yard drive in the fourth quarter. But the defense came up big time and again. And the crowd noise was a big part of this -- Charles Johnson would later tweet it was the loudest he had ever heard Bank of America Stadium.

2) Domenik Hixon. What an amazing catch on the game-winning TD (above)-- diving into the side of the end zone for a Cam Newton bullet. Hixon was only playing due to Steve Smith's knee injury, which looked serious.

3) Cam Newton. After 59 minutes of high throws, a red-zone interception and just plain ineffectiveness, he made three incredible throws on the final drive (to Ted Ginn, Greg Olsen and then Hixon).

4) The rain. It didn't hurt the Panthers a bit that the third quarter was played in mostly monsoon conditions. Graham Gano punched a 40-yarder in through the rain that was a key play. And it kept Drew Brees and company on their heels for a couple of series. Check out the rain picture at the bottom of this blog post.

5) The final drive. Just remarkable. Much more coverage to come, but the fact that it was all done without Steve Smith makes it even nuttier.


Sam Rhodes said...

Hey New Orleans, "Ice Up, Baby! Ice Up!" Panthers Win!

Anonymous said...

I surely thought old Riverboat made a mistake by punting that last time. He evidently has more confidence in his D that I did.

Anonymous said...

There is no doubting Riverboat anymore. I though he blew it as well.
But my god, he should be a very serious contender for coach of the very.
I am not second guessing Riverboat for the rest of the season. He has earned that I keep my fat trap shut and just believe!

Anonymous said...

We just witnessed Cam's coming of age. To pull that drive together after his crummy game took resilience and maturity.

Sportsdon said...

The Geaux Abead Touchdown!

Anonymous said...

Hixon has to get more reps with the 1st team,He`s a clutch receiver that doesn`t drop clutch passes. Shula go to a rotation with Hixon in the mix,Give each receiver a series with Cam, A drive with Smith, Hixon,Ginn next series with Smith Lafell, Ginn next series of downs HIXON, lAFELL,Ginn, This guy knows how to win and has BIG GAME EXPERIENCE!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

When joe buck and Troy aikman are in town, fox broadcasts in true 720p... Too mad next week we'll be back to 480i! What's up with that?

Anonymous said...

I beg to differ on the rain. It hurt us much worse than it did NO. It slowed down our pass rush. It gave their WR an advantage over our DBs. It took Cam's ability to pass the ball accurately away. It took away our running game because NO just stacked the line on every play.

If the field hadn't dried out a little by that last drive, we'd have lost this game.