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Halftime Update

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Halftime update: New Orleans Saints 14, Carolina Panthers 3 | 2023 NFL Week 14

Saints will get the ball to start second half

The New Orleans Saints grabbed a 14-3 halftime lead over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at the Caesars Superdome thanks in part to a blocked punt returned for a touchdown.

Linebacker Nephi Sewell broke through to block the punt of Carolina's Johnny Hekker and fellow linebacker D'Marco Jackson returned it eight yards for a touchdown with 4:37 to play in the second quarter. Running back Alvin Kamara bulled in from nine yards out for the team's first touchdown on the first play of the second quarter.

The Panthers (1-11) scored on a 47-yard field goal.

The Saints, who ran the ball effectively in the first half, moved past 100,000 yards rushing in franchise history in the half.

Safety Jordan Howden had a strip-sack in the half with the fumble by Carolina quarterback Bryce Young recovered by linebacker Pete Werner.

Kamara had 45 yards rushing on eight attempts while Jamaal Williams added 29 yards on six carries. Receiver Chris Olave had three receptions for 21 yards. Quarterback Derek Carr was 10 of 15 for 41 yards with one interception, a tipped pass caught by defensive end Derrick Brown.

According to ESPN Stats and Info, the last time the Saints blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown was Week 9, 2017, by Justin Hardee against the Buccaneers.

The Saints (5-7), who are trying to end a three-game losing streak, will get the ball to start the second half.