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Game recap: New Orleans Saints 41, Carolina Panthers 38

Wil Lutz drills 52-yard field goal for the win

Check out the game action between the Saints and Panthers in Week 6.

The New Orleans Saints built a big early lead and held on late to defeat the Carolina Panthers 41-38 thanks to a 52-yard Wil Lutz field goal Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Lutz made his 52-yarder with 11 seconds to play to cap an 11-play, 41-yard drive led by quarterback Drew Brees.

Brees had another amazing outing, throwing for 465 yards and four touchdowns. It was Brees' 15th 400-yard game, an NFL record and it was the 57th consecutive home game in which he has thrown for a touchdown, another NFL record. His fourth TD was an amazing 8-yard catch by tight end Josh Hill which was originally ruled incomplete. But Coach Sean Payton challenged and won, his second successful challenge of the game. Brees now is one of five quarterbacks to have passed for more than 50,000 yards with one team.

Receiver Brandin Cooks was his top target with seven catches for 173 yards, including an 87-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Cooks' 173 yards is a career high.

The Saints (2-3) had to overcome three end zone pass interfrence calls against their defense which gave the Panthers (1-5) the ball at the 2-yard line each time. The Panthers converted all three opportunities. The last was a 2-yard Cam Newton run. Carolina matched the score at 38 with a 2-point conversion play from Newton to Devin Funchess. That 2-point conversion helped make up for Graham Gano's miss on Carolina's previous score.

The Saints raced out to a 21-0 lead thanks to the Cooks' TD, a 13-yard touchdown catch by Mike Thomas and a 2-yard touchdown run by tight end Coby Fleener, the first of his NFL career. Fleener later scored on a 50-yard reception marking the first time a tight end scored a touchdown rushing and receiving since 2011.

But the Panthers fought back and the 2-point conversion play tied the score at 38 with 2:58 to play in the fourth quarter to set the stage for Lutz's heroics. The rookie kicker had missed badly from 53 yards in the first half but there was no doubt about his game-winner.

The Saints had to play the second half without left tackle Andrus Peat, who hurt is leg on the final drive of the second quarter. Peat, who was starting in place on the injured Terron Armstead, was replaced by Tony Hills. The Panthers were able to apply better pressure in the second half.

Penalties, especially the pass interference calls, hurt the Saints. They finished the game with 10 penalties for 126 yards.

Saints stat leaders

Brees, 34 of 49 for 465 yards with four TDs and one interception

RB Mark Ingram, 16 carries for 51 yards

Cooks, seven catches for 173 yards

Panthers stat leaders

Newton, 26 of 45 for 312 with two TDs and one interception

RB Jonathan Stewart, 19 carries for 85 yards and two TDs

TE Greg Olsen, six catches for 94 yards

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