Second quarter update: The Panthers quickly turned Thomas Davis' interception of Drew Brees into a touchdown as DeAngelo Williams scampered 43 yards up the middle on the very next play for a score and 7-6 lead going into halftime Sunday.
The Saints had done a good job of containing Williams and Carolina's offense until that play.
The Saints had two Shayne Graham field goals in the period, one from 40 yards and the second from 24 yards. the 24-yarder came after the Saints couldn't score a touchdown on first and goal from the 8.
The Saints - especially rookie left tackle Terron Armstead - had a tough time protecting Brees as he was sacked five times. The Saints sacked Newton twice, one by Cameron Jordan for a 17-yard loss.
Key stats: Saints, Drew Brees, 17 of 24 for 124 yards and one interception; Mark Ingram, four carries for 50 yards, Marques Colston, five receptions for 63 yards. Panthers, Cam Newton, 5 of 9 for 61 yards and one interception.