In one of the most disappointing matchups in recent memory for Saints fans, the 7-10 Saints of New Orleans fell 10-7 to the Carolina Panthers in the last game of their 2022-23 season. After losing to their division rivals at Caesars Superdome, any hope of the Saints making the NFL playoffs this season has faded.
The Holy managed to get on the board first when Andy Dalton found Chris Olave for a 25-yard touchdown strike on the game’s opening drive. Olave’s 60-yard play propelled him over the goal 1000 yard receiving mark for the season. Not only did he lead the team this season in yards, receptions and yards per catch, but he joined Michael Thomas and Marques Colton as the only Saints player to ever rush for 1,000 yards in his rookie season.
After a punt from Carolina, then New Orleans, and then another from Carolina the Saints seemed poised to have another promising ride. Running back Alvin Kamara livened up the Saints’ offense when he rushed 22 yards from the left, his longest rush of the game; The drive ended, however, when Wil Lutz missed on a 44-yard field goal attempt early in the second quarter.
After another Panthers punt, the Saints faltered again — this time turning the ball on downs when Kamara was stuffed fourth and one for a loss, giving Carolina the ball on her 24-yard midway through the second quarter -line back.
Although Carolina drove deep into Saints territory on her next drive, Saints safety Tyrann Mathieu intercepted a pass from Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold at the 2-yard line. Mathieu’s interception was his third of the season, and he ended the year with eight tackles on Sunday. the 10 year veteran finished his freshman season with a career-high 91 tackles in his freshman season for his hometown team while leading the team snack with four. The turnover put the ball on the Saints 43 yard line and gave his offense another opportunity to quickly put points on the board before the end of the half.
They were unable to do this. After Dalton found Olave for a 12-yard reception, Panthers cornerback CJ Henderson forced Olave to fumble by knocking the ball out, and Xavier Woods was there to retrieve it, returning possession to Carolina and ending the half .
A brawl Between New Orleans defensive end Marcus Davenport and Carolina running back D’Onta Foreman, it resulted in ejections for both teams to start the second half. For Carolina to lose hers Season Rushing Yards Leader didn’t hinder her urge to open, since she drove across the field and scored to tie the game at seven pieces with 6:52 to go in the third quarter. While Darnold took off into the end zone on the touchdown play, Mathieu forced him to fumble at the 3-yard line, but Carolina offensive lineman Michael Jordan captured the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.
The Saints and Panthers traded punts at the end of the third quarter, and both teams continued to trade punts for seven consecutive drives in the fourth quarter. The streak ended when the Saints’ Darnold Daniel Sorenson threw his second interception of the game for safety reasons second choice in three games.
with 1:36 left, the Saints saved the ball on Carolina’s 35-yard line. If the Saints managed to gain 0 yards before the fourth down, Lutz was assigned to drill a 53-yard try. The Saints offense failed to get going in three critical downs, instead losing 2 yards and putting up Lutz from 55 yards. Carolina’s Henderson blocked that attempt, which marked that of Lutz Eighth failure of the year and second of the game after missing all of last season because of injury.
The Panthers took over at their own 45-yard line with 1:20 on the clock and two timeouts. Up to this point in the game, Darnold only had 11 passing yards, but the Quarterback in the fifth year showed up when it mattered.
after he was sacked for a 3-yard lossDarnold scrambled 13 yards and then found Terrace Marshall Jr. for a 21-yard reception that placed the ball on the New Orleans 24-yard line, and at 0:03 Eddie Piniero launched a 42-yard field goal to give Carolina a 10-7 win and her first win over the Saints in seven seasons.
“We didn’t do enough good to win the game… We had some chances that we didn’t take,” said the Saints freshman-year head coach Dennis Allen said. “That’s what happens when you don’t take advantage of the opportunities. You have a team hanging around. They just hung around, kept fighting and in the end had a chance to win.”
The Saints quarterback Andy Dalton led the New Orleans offensive with 171 yards in 15-on-25, while Alvin Kamara led the fast attack with 107 yards and 23 carries.
While the offensive could not score except for the opening thrust, the black and gold defense allowed less than 20 points for itself eighth game in a rowa feat not accomplished by the team since a stretch of 1991–92. The unit also prevented opposing teams from eclipsing 10 points on offense in three straight games.
The Saints’ defense just barely allowed it 32 net passage yards When their season tackle leader, Demario Davis, finished with 8 against Carolina. Darnold finished 5 of 15 for 43 yards and two interceptions. Although Darnold deserves one 2.8 passer rating – Lowest opposing quarterback against New Orleans in history – The now 7-10 Saints will miss the NFL playoffs for the second season in a row.