New Orleans Saints "Finish Wrong" in loss to Carolina Panthers

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December 30, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints interim head coach Joe Vitt embraces quarterback Drew Brees (9) prior to kickoff of a game against the Carolina Panthers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints went into the season finale against the Carolina Panthers with the mindset to “Finish Strong” and close their roller coaster ride of a year with an 8-8 record.  They did everything but that.

What is most puzzling about the 44-38 loss to the Panthers is that for a while the Saints appeared to be in control during the third quarter when they held a 24-13 lead.

Then as the game went on, the finish was anything but strong.  In fact the Saints didn’t even look like they were ready to finish but were finished completely as the Panthers rolled up 530 yards of offense over the defense of the Black and Gold.

Speaking of defense, the Saints defensive unit actually acquired the record for most offensive yards allowed in a single season at 7,042 and made their mark in NFL history surpassing the 1981 Baltimore Colts who previously held the record at 6,793 yards.

Of those 530 yards the Saints defense gave up, 210 of those yards came from running back DeAngelo Williams who seemed at times to easily bowl defenders over and break numerous tackles.

The offense wasn’t without it’s woes though.  Even though quarterback Drew Brees threw for 396 yards and had four touchdowns, he threw a costly interception that swung momentum to the Panthers who rallied a comeback and a touchdown off of it.

Dazzling throws and incredible catches(wide receiver Lance Moore had a beauty) seemed to be followed by drops and a lack of execution.  It was better said by offensive tackle Zach Strief who told CBS Sports after the game, “The only thing we were consistent at was being inconsistent.”

Brees stated in a press conference after the game that the offseason couldn’t come fast enough.  If you ask a majority of Saints fans, they’ll most likely tell you the same thing.

In the end it’s the fans, who have such a connection to their team, who’ve had to suffer as headline after headline surfaced against the Saints starting in March of this year involving the bounty scandal and subsequent suspensions.

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Tags: Carolina Panthers Drew Brees New Orleans Saints

  • louisianakid1954

    I’m happy for the New Orleans Saints they ran a 7 – 9 season ending without their head coach. Proud that they bought they feeling out on how they felt about their 2012 season acknowledging that they were missing Sean Payton. And that Joe Vitt and Aaron Kromer did the best that they could do, yes they was without their play caller.

  • Joey Riollano

    Being a Panther fan I was pleased with the outcome of the game yesterday. I was also pleased with the class shown by Carolina by not scoring on the final drive. After the classless acts of the Saints in last seasons finale, the Panthers still managed to come out looking good even though Carolina would have been well within their rights to try and run up the score.

    Another thing, I was terribly disappointed with the Saints fans cheering when Cam went down with an injury during the game. How little class that shows as a fan base and as a community. With all the difficulty and struggle the city of New Orleans has overcome with Katrina and the BP oil spill why would you cheer at someone else’s misfortune? Having just been through the whole “bounty gate” scandal and shame of it I would have thought the fans to exhibit more class the that but apparently I was wrong. Several Panther fans were tweeting how it appeared the “bounty” program was still alive and well in the Saints organization. And I must admit at some points during the game, I had to agree.

    This rivalry is growing in intensity and ferocity so I truly look forward to the games we will play next season. Go Panthers! Keep pounding!