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Carolina Panthers grab 24-3 halftime lead over Saints

Teams are playing in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome

The Carolina Panthers took advantage of consecutive New Orleans Saints turnovers to race to a 24-3 halftime lead Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Carolina scored on a 9-yard Cam Newton pass to Kelvin Benjamin on its first possession and then immediately got the ball back when running back Mark Ingram fumbled after a reception on the Saints' second play. Carolina turned that into a 37-yard Graham Gano field goal and a 10-0 lead.

On the Saints' next possession quarterback Drew Brees was picked off by Bene Benwikere as he tried to hit Joe Morgan with a deep pass. The Panthers turned that into a 2-yard Newton TD run and a 17-0 lead. A scrum ensued after Newton tried to do his Superman routine and Carolina tight end Brandon Williams was ejected.

New Orleans scored its only points of the half on a 37-yard Shayne Graham field goa in the second quarter. Graham later missed a 42-yard attempt.

Carolina scored its final points of the half on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Newton to tight end Greg Olsen.

Brees is 9 of 15 for 55 yards and the interception. Ingram carried five times for 20 yards.

Newton is 15 of 23 for 162 yards with two TD passes and one rushing TD. He rushed the ball eight times for 68 yards.

Linebacker Junior Galette and left tackle Terron Armstead left the game with injuries.

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