NFL: Panthers 35, Saints 27
Published: September 16, 2012 02:46PM
Updated: September 16, 2012 02:56PM
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Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) celebrates a teammate's touchdown during the third quarter of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

Charlotte, N.C. • Cam Newton threw for 253 yards and ran for a career-high 71 yards as the Carolina Panthers defeated New Orleans 35-27 on Sunday to hand the Saints their first 0-2 start since 2007.

One week after tying a franchise low with 10 yards rushing in a 16-10 loss to Tampa Bay, the Panthers rediscovered their running game against a porous Saints defense. The Panthers ran for 219 yards and Newton, DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert all scored on short touchdown runs. Steve Smith overcame a sore knee to finish with 104 yards receiving — the 39th 100-yard receiving game of his career — and Jonathan Stewart hauled in a 17-yard touchdown reception for the Panthers (1-1).

Drew Brees had won his previous five starts against Carolina. He threw for 325 yards but was intercepted twice, including once by Charles Godfrey, who returned it 9 yards for a touchdown.