Panthers stay perfect on the season

``We needed a first down, so I looked at Stephen and told him to 'Go get it, let's finish it here,''' quarterback Jake Delhomme said.

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Stephen Davis who finished with 159 yards and a 1-yard touchdown run in the Panthers 19-13 win against the Saints.

The Saints (1-4) cut it to 19-13 on John Carney's 26-yard field goal with 1:43 to play, and Carolina needed one last first down to close the win.

The Panthers knew it was time for Davis.

``We needed a first down, so I looked at Stephen and told him to 'Go get it, let's finish it here,''' quarterback Jake Delhomme said.

Davis gained the final 10 yards on three straight runs. When he gained the first down on his 30th carry of the game -- allowing Delhomme to take a knee on the final two plays -- Delhomme excitedly pounded on his teammates' helmets to celebrate the win.

``Stephen Davis is the best thing that has ever happened to this football team,'' safety Mike Minter said. ``Never before have we had a running back who could just grind the game out for us and it's a pleasure watching him seal it for us from the sidelines.''

There's little flash or fanfare to this team, just a steady dose of Davis in every game.

Signed during the offseason, Davis set an NFL record as the first back to pass the 100-yard mark in his first four games with a new team. With 565 yards rushing this season, he also set a record for the most total yards with a new team, besting Ricky Williams' 460 yards in four games with Miami last season.

Rod Smart -- aka ``He Hate Me'' -- had the flashiest play for the Panthers, returning a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. John Kasay added field goals of 49 and 23 yards.

The Saints had 344 yards total offense -- 155 on the ground against a Carolina team that prides itself in stopping the run.

Deuce McAllister, who had a stiff back and a slight touch of the flu, ran for 124 yards for the Saints. He also added four catches for 59 yards.


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