New Orleans, LA- The Panthers started the season 3-0 and then finished the season by winning four of their last five games.
"That's character,'' Carolina receiver Mushin Muhummad said. "I've been talking about that the whole season. This team has more character and more togetherness and has gelled so tightly that its an almost eerie feeling.''
Carolina (7-9), in last place in the NFC South, snapped a 13-game losing streak in its division. The Panthers were 1-5 this season in the new division after going 0-8 last season in the NFC West.
The Panthers defense which in the number four defense overall in the NFL held the Saints to 244 total yards. Carolina cornerback Terry Cousin was the star of the defense intercepting two passes and recovering a fumble to preserve the Panthers' 10-6 victory.
Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks went 12-of-31 for 145 yards with 2 interceptions and was sacked three times.
"He's been making mistakes,'' Cousin said. "When you're at home and the crowd boos, that speaks volumes.''
Panther quarterback Rodney Peete completed 19 of 30 passes for 203 yards and a touchdown, he also was picked off twice and sacked twice.
The Panthers scored on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Peete to Brad Hoover with 51 seconds left in the first half and took a 7-3 lead at half time and never looked back.
New Orleans' first drive of the second half went to Carolina's 13 before an 8-yard sack of Brooks pushed the Saints back to the 20. Carney kicked his second field goal, a 38-yarder, to cut the Panthers' lead to 7-6.
Carolina came back quickly, capping its next drive with a 50-yard field goal by Shayne Graham to go up 10-6 with 2:43 left in the third quarter.