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Halftime update: New Orleans Saints 21, Carolina Panthers 14

Saints running game powers team to halftime lead

The New Orleans Saints took a 21-14 halftime lead over the Carolina Panthers in a pivotal NFC South game Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The Saints (8-3) scored on a 2-yard Alvin Kamara run (his sixth consecutive game with a TD), a 3-yard Mark Ingram II run and a 10-yard pass from Drew Brees to Michael Thomas. Ingram set up his score with a 72-yard run, the second longest of his career and the second longest non-scoring run in Saints history.

The Panthers (8-3) scored on a 2-yard run by Jonathan Stewart and a 21-yard pass from Cam Newton to Christian McCaffrey. That score was set up when Josh Hill fumbled in the second quarter, giving the Panthers the ball on the Saints' 45-yard line.

The Saints defense played well even without two starting members of the secondary as rookies Marshon Lattimore and Marcus Lattimore both missed the game. The defense gave us just 154 yards and held Carolina to 2 of 6 on third down. Safety Kenny Vaccaro had the team's lone sack of the half.

New Orleans Saints stat leaders

Drew Brees, 14 of 21 for 142 yards with one TD

Mark Ingram, sevn carries for 78 yards with one TD

Michael Thomas, three catches for 35 yards with one TD

Carolina Panthers stat leaders

Cam Newton, 8 of 11 for 101 yards with a TD

Jonathan Stewart, 10 carries for 37 yards and a TD

Christian McCaffrey, three catches for 27 yards with one TD

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