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Halftime update: Carolina Panthers 7, New Orleans Saints 6

Halfback pass gives Panthers slim lead

Charlotte, N.C. - The Carolina Panthers used a little razzle-dazzle to take a 7-6 halftime lead on the New Orleans Saints on Monday at Bank of America Stadium.

The Panthers scored their touchdown on a crafty trick play on fourth-and-two at the 50. Quarterback Cam Newton handed off to Christian McCaffrey who ran to his right before lofting a pass to wide open tight Chris Manhertz. The former Saint then raced into the end zone for a 50-yard score.

The Saints had possession at midfield when a tipped Drew Brees was picked off by Caroline cornerback James Bradberyy. Carolina took over at the Saints' 42-yard line and looked like it was going to cash in until cornerback Eli Applie intercepted Newton in the end zone with 12 seconds to play.

Saints kicker Wil Lutz made two field goals - 46 yards and 24 yards - for the Saints' first points of the half. Lutz has now made 25 consecutive field-goal attempts, tying Morten Andersen's franchise record.

Two personal foul penalties on the Saints proved costly. Rookie defensive end Marcus Davenport was flagged for hitting Newton in the head, getting the Panthers out of bad position on their eventual scoring drive. Saints left guard Andrus Peat was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for a late hit, backing up what had been a promising New Orleans drive. The Saints were forced to punt.

The Saints defense has three sacks, one each by linebacker Demario Davis, defensive end Alex Okafor and defensive tackle David Onyemata.

Key Saints stat leaders

Drew Brees, 11 of 20 for 114 yards with one interception

Mark Ingram, six carries for 45 yards

Alvin Kamara, five carries for 17 yards, four catches for 21 yards

Benjamin Watson, one catch for 28 yards

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