CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (AP) " Carolina held off New Orleans' fourth- quarter rally to beat the Saints 23-20 on Thursday in a game marred by injuries to key players.
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton completed 14 of 33 passing attempts for 192 yards, and threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Ted Ginn Jr. to help the Panthers (4-6) win and pull level with the Saints for third place in the NFC South.
Jonathan Stewart also ran for a touchdown and Graham Gano had three field goals.
The Panthers lost former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Luke Kuechly (concussion), two-time All-Pro center Ryan Kalil (shoulder), defensive end Mario Addison (foot) and cornerback Leonard Johnson (chest) to injuries. Kuechly left the field on a cart while tears streamed down his face.
The Saints lost running back Mark Ingram to a concussion in the third quarter.
The Panthers, who surrendered a 17-point lead and lost to Kansas City last week, entered the fourth quarter with a 23-3 lead before injuries set in.
New Orleands quarterback Drew Brees, who was limited to 171 yards and no touchdowns in the first three quarters, rallied the Saints back to within 23-20, connecting on touchdown passes to Brandon Coleman and Coby Fleener.
Brees threw for 285 yards; 180 less than in the previous meeting between the teams a month earlier.
In the first quarter Ginn appeared to score on a 14-yard run, but officials reviewed the play and ruled his knee was down at the 1-yard line, taking away a touchdown. Then, in the closing seconds of the second quarter, officials ruled Ginn was out of bounds on a pass from Newton. But after instant replay officials overturned the ruling and gave Ginn a 40-yard touchdown catch.
Newton was under heavy pressure for most of the first half, taking a sack on third down that took his team out of field goal range " the second time he has done that in as many weeks.
Brees eclipsed 3,000 yards passing for the 13th consecutive season, tying Peyton Manning for the second-longest streak in NFL history.
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This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings