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Posted: Monday, 09 December 2013 6:26AM

Saints make it look easy in win over Carolina



Drew Brees often makes the extraordinary look routine, particularly during night games in the Superdome.

Sometimes even the best defenses don't stand a chance. Carolina's didn't on Sunday night, when the Saints rolled to a 31-13 triumph in which New Orleans took back sole possession of first place in the NFC South.

The Panthers hadn't given up more than two touchdowns in a game all season and ranked first in scoring defense, but Brees passed for three scores in the second quarter alone and finished with four during a 30-completion, 313-yard outing.

In the process, Brees became only fifth quarterback in NFL history to eclipse 50,000 career yards. The milestone was acknowledged with an announcement over the Superdome sound system, with Brees nodding and smiling after seeing his face on stadium video boards.

Saints coach Sean Payton was amused by how matter-of-fact it all seemed, and ribbed Brees about it in the locker room during his postgame speech.

"We were kidding him in there that a lot of places, if the quarterback hits 50,000 yards, they would have fireworks, stop the game," Payton said. "To be in that class ... really hits on his consistency, his durability, his availability, along with his skill set. We are happy for him, obviously proud of him."

The Panthers, meanwhile, saw their eight-game winning streak come to a humbling halt.

Not only was their defense carved up like never before this season, but their offense struggled to move the ball.

Cam Newton was sacked five times and finished 22 of 34 for only 160 yards, his second-lowest passing total of the season.

Carolina (9-4) will have a chance to redeem itself when it hosts New Orleans (10-3) on Dec. 22.

"We have to learn from it," Carolina coach Ron Rivera said. "We still have a lot of football left to play and a lot still left on the line."

Photo by Chris Bennett

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Topics : Sports
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Locations : New Orleans
People : Cam NewtonCarolina - Drew BreesChris BennettRon RiveraSean Payton
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