Panthers
Saints
33 - 31 Final
  for this game

Kasay's field goal gives Panthers NFC South title

Dec 28, 2008 - 11:04 PM NEW ORLEANS (Ticker) -- The Carolina Panthers withstood a gutsy comeback attempt by Drew Brees to put away their first division title in three years.

John Kasay kicked a 42-yard field goal with one second remaining Sunday as the Panthers defeated the New Orleans Saints, 33-31, to clinch the NFC South crown.

Carolina (12-4), the only team to go 8-0 at home this season, secured the No. 2 seed in the NFC and a first-round bye.

"I just knew this game would come down to a field goal," Kasay said. "It happened that way here in '03 and '05, and now today."

The dramatic victory came after Brees threw three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to rally in the Saints (8-8) from a 30-10 deficit.

"I hope it didn't look like we were coasting too much," Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme said. "When you have a quarterback like that (Brees), you know he can chuck it. I never thought once they were out of it."

Brees threw two of his TD passes in the fourth quarter to Lance Moore, including a 13-yard strike that put the Saints ahead, 31-30, with 3:16 remaining. New Orleans took advantage of a 21-yard punt that was downed at the Panthers' 45-yard line.

Brees threw for 386 yards, falling just 16 yards shy of Dan Marino's NFL single-season record of 5,084 yards set in 1984. He become only the second quarterback in NFL history to pass for more than 5,000 yards in a single season.

"We had our opportunities and I am proud at how we fought back," New Orleans coach Sean Payton said. "In the end, we couldn't come up with enough plays to stop them."

Delhomme ignited the Panthers' winning drive with a 39-yard completion to Steve Smith after Carolina started its final possession at its 18.

"Now we have a week off and will rest and get ready for the playoffs," Smith said. "The good news is that we have a bye and a home playoff game coming up."

Carolina's DeAngelo Williams rushed for 178 yards on 25 carries to set two franchise marks as the Panthers rebounded from last week's 34-28 overtime loss to the New York Giants. That defeat cost Carolina home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Williams finished the year with 1,515 yards, breaking Stephen Davis' previous team mark of 1,444 set in 2003. He also established another team record with his eighth 100-yard game of the season.

"I told them (his players) congratulations," Carolina coach Jon Fox said. "When you win the division and get the second seed in the NFC, I think congratulations are in order."

The Panthers dominated from the start, putting together drives of 12, 9 and 9 plays on their first three possessions.

After settling for field goals each time, Carolina appeared to take control by scoring two touchdowns in a six-second span late in the second quarter.

An interception by safety Chris Harris set up Jake Delhomme's 8-yard touchdown pass to Muhsin Muhammad with 3:03 remaining in the first quarter.

On the ensuing kickoff, linebacker Landon Johnson knocked the ball loose from Skyler Green. Cornerback Dante Wesley scooped up the fumble and returned it 12 yards for his first career TD, giving the Panthers a 23-3 cushion.

Brees answered with a 26-yard TD strike to Marques Colston to pull the Saints within 23-10 at the half.

However, the Panthers forced a punt on the Saints' first possession of the second half and regained their three-TD advantage on rookie Jonathan Stewart's 2-yard TD run with 10 minutes left in the third quarter.

With the score, Carolina became the fifth team in NFL history to have two players with 10 or more rushing touchdowns in one season. Williams paced the NFL with 18 rushing TDs.

"This is my 20th NFL season," Fox added. "I've seen too much to ever feel comfortable."

In the fourth quarter, Brees took aim at Marino's record and made the Panthers sweat. He started the comeback with a 7-yard TD strike to Robert Meachem, then tossed a 9-yard scoring pass to Moore to make it 30-24.






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    Panthers 33, Saints 31  FinalDec 29 5:17 AM
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    Panthers 33, Saints 31  FinalDec 28 5:48 PM


  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 6 17 7 3 33
    NEW ORLEANS 0 10 0 21 31 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CAR - FG, JOHN KASAY 45 YD, 6:54. Drive: 12
    plays, 48 yards in 6:59. Key plays:
    Williams 11-yard run on 3rd-and-1
    to Carolina 44; Stewart 3-yard run
    on 3rd-and-2 to New Orleans 45;
    Williams

    Dec 28 4:09 PM


  • NFL
    FG CAR
    JOHN KASAY 42 YD
    CAROLINA 33
    NEW ORLEANS 31 0:01 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Panthers 33, Saints 31  4th - 0:01Dec 28 4:06 PM


  • NFL
    TD NOR
    LANCE MOORE 13 YD PASS FROM DREW BREES
    (GARRETT HARTLEY KICK)
    CAROLINA 30
    NEW ORLEANS 31 3:11 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Panthers 30, Saints 31  4th - 3:11Dec 28 3:56 PM
  • 125
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    RUWTbot Added 59 roots (Close Finish)

    Panthers 30, Saints 31  4th - 3:11Dec 28 3:56 PM
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    Panthers 30, Saints 24  4th - 3:58Dec 28 3:52 PM
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    Panthers 30, Saints 24  4th - 5:28Dec 28 3:51 PM


  • NFL
    TD NOR
    LANCE MOORE 9 YD PASS FROM DREW BREES
    (GARRETT HARTLEY KICK)
    CAROLINA 30
    NEW ORLEANS 24 5:38 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Panthers 30, Saints 24  4th - 5:38Dec 28 3:48 PM
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    Panthers 30, Saints 24  4th - 5:38Dec 28 3:48 PM


  • NFL
    TD NOR
    ROBERT MEACHEM 7 YD PASS FROM DREW BREES
    (GARRETT HARTLEY KICK)
    CAROLINA 30
    NEW ORLEANS 17 14:48 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Panthers 30, Saints 17  4th - 14:48Dec 28 3:21 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 6 17 7 30
    NEW ORLEANS 0 10 0 10 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CAR - FG, JOHN KASAY 45 YD, 6:54. Drive: 12
    plays, 48 yards in 6:59. Key plays:
    Williams 11-yard run on 3rd-and-1
    to Carolina 44; Stewart 3-yard run
    on 3rd-and-2 to New Orleans 45;
    Wi

    Dec 28 3:14 PM


  • NFL
    TD CAR
    JONATHAN STEWART 2 YD RUN
    (JOHN KASAY KICK)
    CAROLINA 30
    NEW ORLEANS 10 10:02 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Panthers 30, Saints 10  3rd - 10:02Dec 28 2:53 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 6 17 23
    NEW ORLEANS 0 10 10 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CAR - FG, JOHN KASAY 45 YD, 6:54. Drive: 12
    plays, 48 yards in 6:59. Key plays:
    Williams 11-yard run on 3rd-and-1
    to Carolina 44; Stewart 3-yard run
    on 3rd-and-2 to New Orleans 45;
    Willia

    Dec 28 2:28 PM


  • NFL
    TD NOR
    MARQUES COLSTON 26 YD PASS FROM DREW BREES
    (GARRETT HARTLEY KICK)
    CAROLINA 23
    NEW ORLEANS 10 0:40 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Panthers 23, Saints 10  2nd - 0:40Dec 28 2:23 PM


  • NFL
    TD CAR
    DANTE WESLEY 12 YD FUMBLE RETURN
    (JOHN KASAY KICK)
    CAROLINA 23
    NEW ORLEANS 3 3:03 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Panthers 23, Saints 3  2nd - 3:03Dec 28 2:08 PM


  • NFL
    TD CAR
    MUHSIN MUHAMMAD 8 YD PASS FROM JAKE DELHOMME
    (JOHN KASAY KICK)
    CAROLINA 16
    NEW ORLEANS 3 3:09 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Panthers 16, Saints 3  2nd - 3:09Dec 28 2:06 PM


  • NFL
    FG CAR
    JOHN KASAY 34 YD
    CAROLINA 9
    NEW ORLEANS 3 6:56 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Panthers 9, Saints 3  2nd - 6:56Dec 28 1:56 PM


  • NFL
    FG NOR
    GARRETT HARTLEY 21 YD
    CAROLINA 6
    NEW ORLEANS 3 12:35 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Panthers 6, Saints 3  2nd - 12:35Dec 28 1:42 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 6 6
    NEW ORLEANS 0 0 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CAR - FG, JOHN KASAY 45 YD, 6:54. Drive: 12
    plays, 48 yards in 6:59. Key plays:
    Williams 11-yard run on 3rd-and-1
    to Carolina 44; Stewart 3-yard run
    on 3rd-and-2 to New Orleans 45;
    Wi

    Dec 28 1:38 PM


  • NFL
    FG CAR
    JOHN KASAY 26 YD
    CAROLINA 6
    NEW ORLEANS 0 2:21 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Panthers 6, Saints 0  1st - 2:21Dec 28 1:30 PM


  • NFL
    FG CAR
    JOHN KASAY 45 YD
    CAROLINA 3
    NEW ORLEANS 0 8:06 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Panthers 3, Saints 0  1st - 8:06Dec 28 1:14 PM
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