NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Saints (13-3) sat key offensive contributors Drew Brees and Alvin Kamara for a game that meant nothing standings-wise. With home-field advantage, and a first-round bye secured, the Panthers took advantage of some benchings to beat the Black and Gold, 33-14.
“We can spin it any way we want to. We didn’t play well. We can put our own little stamp on this, and say well. It starts with me. We’ll get the corrections made. We didn’t play well. Credit Carolina, they came ready to play,” said coach Sean Payton
Starting for Brees, Teddy Bridgewater went 14-of-22 passing, for 118 yards, with a touchdown pass and an interception. Bridgewater’s first TD pass in the Black and Gold went to Tre’Quan Smith for a 9-yard touchdown.
“It was a pretty cool moment, just running back out there. You know it’s been a long time. I’m grateful for that moment, grateful for that opportunity. It’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my career,” said quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
The Panthers also sat their star quarterback Cam Newton. His replacement, Kyle Allen, went 16-of-27 passing for 228 yards and two touchdowns.
With Drew Brees inactive today, No. 9 broke his own record for single-season completion percentage after connecting on 74.4 percent of his passes in 2018. Brees broke the record last year with a 72 percent completion percentage. That surpassed Sam Bradford’s 71.6 percent in 2016.
Brees missed only his third game since being with the Saints. Only one of those games was because of an injury. All three were against the Panthers.
Michael Thomas broke Joe Horn’s 14-year old franchise record for receiving yards in a Saints season in the contest. Thomas beat the mark with a 6-yard reception in the fourth quarter.
Horn racked up 1,399 yards in 2004 with the Black and Gold. Horn was in attendance for the Saints-Panthers game rocking Thomas’ jersey.