By Jeff Duncan | NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
The Carolina Panthers defeated a makeshift New Orleans Saints team 33-14 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday (Dec. 30).
The loss dropped the Saints' record to 13-3 and prevented them from securing the best regular-season record in club history. The Saints also went 13-3 in 2009 and 2011.
On the bright side, the loss means the Saints lost to the same three teams this season as they did when they won the Super Bowl in 2009: Carolina; Dallas; and Tampa Bay.
A look at my takeaways from the game:
1. The defensive performance was ugly
Yes, it was nothing more than a glorified exhibition game but the Saints starting defense played the entire first half and its performance left a lot to be desired. Panthers third-string quarterback Kyle Allen drove Carolina to three touchdowns and a field goal in four first-half series, taking a commanding 23-0 lead at halftime. The Panthers outgained the Saints 251-95 in total yards and 20-6 first downs in the first half. The defensive unit is certainly not going to enjoy reviewing the game tape of this one, assuming they actually watch it. It was an ugly effort by any standards, even if the Saints were simply going through the motions. ...
Full Story - NOLA.com