Dec 8, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) prior to a game against the Carolina Panthers at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Drew Brees has faced the Carolina Panthers seventeen total times in his career, sixteen of which have come as a member of the New Orleans Saints. Overall, Brees has a 9-8 record against the Panthers.
With the importance of Sunday’s matchup between the two teams, I found it a perfect opportunity to look at the Top Five performances from Brees over the years.
#5 – October 9, 2011
The Saints’ 2011 season was something special, as the team finished 13-3. However, playing on the road against the Panthers always posed a challenge. Brees threw for 359 yards and 2 touchdowns, but the manner in which he finished the game was what will always stand out in that contest.
The Saints would exchange scoring possessions with the Panthers early, and it looked like all momentum was seized by Carolina when Brees threw an interception late in the 3rd quarter. The Panthers would score to go up 27-23 early in the fourth quarter, and then the Saints would stall to give the Panthers back the ball. The Saints defense would make a stop, and then Brees would take over with 7:06 to play in the game to lead the Saints on an 89-yard drive that was capped off by the go ahead 6-yard passing touchdown from Brees to Pierre Thomas.
#4 – December 28, 2008
2008 was a down year for the Saints, and this game got away from the team very early. Trailing 30-10 heading into the fourth quarter, Drew Brees would catch fire. He’d help the Saints score 21 unanswered points thanks to Brees connecting with Robert Meachem once and Lance Moore twice.
Brees would finish with 386 yards and 4 touchdowns, but the Panthers would have the last laugh as John Kasay kicked the game winning 42 yard field goal with just 6 seconds left. Brees would also miss out on Dan Marino’s passing record by only 16 yards, but would later break the record in 2011 against the Atlanta Falcons.
#3 – December 30, 2012
It was a game that many of us would like to forget, as Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams would shred the Saints defense for 210 yards and two scores. Questionable officiating coupled with the official end to Steve Spagnuolo’s short reign as defensive coordinator handed the Saints a losing season of 7-9. Brees played well, tossing for 396 yards and 4 touchdowns.
In that game, Brees helped Lance Moore and Jimmy Graham each go over 100 yards receiving, as they combined for 13 receptions, 236 yards, and a score. Brees would also find Marques Colston for two touchdowns in the Saints loss.
#2 – December 8, 2013
Not many could forget last year’s large victory over the Panthers. The Saints were reeling from a huge defeat on the road from the Seattle Seahawks, who ripped up the Saints 34-7. It was deemed as the battle for the NFC South, and like most prime time home games have fared for the Saints, they responded to the challenge.
After trailing 6-0 early, the Saints would rattle off 31 unanswered points against the Panthers. Brees threw for 313 yards on 30 completions, and had 4 touchdowns. Jimmy Graham and Marques Colston would split Brees’ touchdowns on the day.
The Panthers would settle the score just a couple of weeks later, and take the NFC South crown.
#1 – January 1, 2012
Drew Brees’ best quarterback rating (140.7) against the Panthers came at the end of the 2011 season, when the Saints went on an eight game winning streak to march into the playoffs. Brees would throw for 389 yards on 28 completions (80 percent completion), 5 touchdowns, and 11.1 yards per completion.
The Saints would trade scores with the Panthers early, and would break the 17-17 tie before the half when Brees found Marques Colston for a 42-yard score. Brees would then rattle off three more passing touchdowns to Jimmy Graham, Darren Sproles, and Jed Collins.
There’s no denying that the New Orleans Saints could benefit tremendously from any of these repeat performances from Drew Brees on Sunday.
Do you feel that Drew Brees and the Saints are in for some magic this Sunday? Give us some predictions for the game!
Oct 30, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) runs off the field after the game. The Saints defeated the Panthers 28-10 at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports