The Carolina Panthers defeated the New Orleans Saints 44-38 Sunday, in a wild game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to close out the season.
The Saints will finish the 2012 regular season tied with the Panthers and Buccaneers for second (and last) place in the NFC South Division with a 7-9 record.
Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams rushed for a staggering 210 yards, including a 65-yard burst in the first half and a 54-yard touchdown gash in the second half.
The Saints were able to keep the game close by the fourth quarter, but the offensive effort was too little, too late.
Brees attempted 43 passes with 29 completions, 396 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Sunday’s effort brings Brees’ 2012 yardage total to 5,177 and makes Brees the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for more than 5,000 yards in three separate seasons.
2012 was a disappointing season for a team who had reached the playoffs in each of the last three seasons, but the Saints will look forward to getting their Super Bowl-winning coach back in 2013 as Sean Payton returns from his suspension.