The Panthers defeated New Orleans 23-20
Carolina Panthers kept their slim hopes alive of reaching the NFL Playoffs after a 23-20 win at home against New Orleans Saints.
Last season's SuperBowl runners-up are now 4-6 for the season, and joined their divisional rivals, New Orleans, in lying just two wins behind NFC South leaders Atlanta Falcons.
Two touchdowns in the second quarter gave the Panthers a 20-3 lead at half-time, and a lead Ron Rivera's side would never relinquish. Running-back Jonathan Stewart and wide-receiver Ted Ginn Jr. scored in the space of three-and-a-half minutes on the way to the win.
New Orleans cut the lead to three points in the final quarter, after Drew Brees threw two touchdown passes to Brandon Coleman and Coby Fleener, but the SuperBowl XLIV could not level the match.
There was worrying scenes for the Panthers in the match, as star Luke Kuechly left the field in tears with a suspected concussion. No update was given on the player after the match.
Next week, the Panthers travel west to Oakland, while the Saints are at home to Los Angeles.