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Panthers improve to 2-0 with home victory over New Orleans Saints, 26-7

The Carolina Panthers are off to their best start in four years
Panthers improve to 2-0 with home victory over New Orleans Saints, 17-7
Panthers improve to 2-0 with home victory over New Orleans Saints, 17-7(AP)
Published: Sep. 19, 2021 at 11:10 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 19, 2021 at 4:11 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV/AP) - The Carolina Panthers are off to their best start in four years.

The Panthers defeated NFC South rival New Orleans Saints, 26-7, Sunday afternoon at Bank of America Stadium.

It’s their first win over the Saints since the regular-season finale in 2018, snapping a four-game losing streak.

Carolina (2-0) has won its first two games of the season for the first time since 2017.

The Panthers could never really figure out Drew Brees when he was playing quarterback for the New Orleans Saints.

On Sunday, Carolina bottled up Saints’ new starting quarterback Jameis Winston, who took over for the retired Brees.

Brees dominated Carolina for more than a decade, going 18-11 as a starter against the Panthers and helping the Saints win eight of the last nine matchups, including a 2017 wild card playoff game.

The Panthers stormed out to a 17-0 lead by halftime, thanks in part to touchdown passes from Sam Darnold to Brandon Zylstra and DJ Moore.

Winston did score on an 8-yard touchdown run with 14:37 remaining, cutting the Panthers’ lead to 17-7. Christian McCaffrey then responded for the Panthers with an 11-yard touchdown run with 5:53 left in the game.

Winston only had 88 passing yards, was sacked four times and intercepted twice.

Darnold passed for 305 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

Carolina will play at the Houston Texans on Thursday night.

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