Chris Olave’s incredible catch helps Saints to early divisional victory over Panthers

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The New Orleans Saints needed a game-breaking play to propel the offense as the clock ticked down and they got it in the form of a 42-yard pass from Derek Carr to Chris Olave in the third quarter.

Olave tipped the ball to himself as he fell to the ground and kept New Orleans’ drive alive. Seven plays later, Tony Jones Jr. ran the ball for a touchdown and the Saints took the lead 13-6. Jones scored again in the fourth quarter to put the final nail in the Panthers’ coffin.

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Chris Olave pulls down the ball

Chris Olave #12 of the New Orleans Saints bobbles and catches a 42 yard pass against CJ Henderson #23 of the Carolina Panthers during the third quarter in the game at Bank of America Stadium on September 18, 2023 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

New Orleans won the game 20-17.

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While the offense finally got going in the second half with Carr’s passing to Olave and Jones finishing drives at the goal line, it was the Saints’ defense that made an imprint on Panthers rookie Bryce Young.

Young threw a late touchdown pass to Adam Thielen to make the Saints sweat but New Orleans had the rookie quarterback’s number for most of the game. Young was sacked four times and lost a fumble. He was 23-for-33 with 153 passing yards.

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Derek Carr points

Derek Carr #4 of the New Orleans Saints points against the Carolina Panthers during the second quarter in the game at Bank of America Stadium on September 18, 2023 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Demario Davis led the fray with seven tackles for the Saints, including a sack. Pete Werner had seven tackles as well.

Carr finished 21-of-36 with 228 yards. He had an interception and was sacked four times. Olave led the team with six catches for 86 yards. Rashid Shaheed had four catches for 63 yards.

New Orleans moved to 2-0 on the season as they defeated the Tennessee Titans in Week 1. Carolina fell to 0-2 after losing to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1.

Frankie Luvu sack

Frankie Luvu #49 of the Carolina Panthers celebrates with his teammates after sacking Derek Carr #4 of the New Orleans Saints during the first quarter in the game at Bank of America Stadium on September 18, 2023 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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The Saints get a huge edge in the division with the win as the NFC South is expected to be as tight as ever as the season wears on.



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