Former Buckeyes propel Saints to Wild Card victory over Panthers

The win was the Saints first playoff victory at home in six years. The Saints defeated the St. Louis Rams, 31-28, on December 30, 2000, in the dome for their first-ever playoff win after splitting during the regular season.

One was Ted Ginn Jr. playing against his old team.

In the first half he led New Orleans to scores on three straight drives, throwing a lovely 80-yard bomb to Ted Ginn for the first score.

-Football's a amusing game, example No. 13,424: Graham Gano missed a 25-yard field goal, his first miss under 30 yards in 53 attempts.

Brees wasn't done lighting up the scoreboard for the Saints in the half, connecting with Josh Hill for a 9-yard touchdown pass. On the huge video boards in each endzone, Saints waving white towels that read "dome field advantage" were super- imposed on the screen.

Brees finished with 230 passing yards in the first half.

Saints running backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, who combined for more than 3,000 yards from scrimmage this season, were held to 68 total yards.

If the Saints and Falcons advance, the NFC title game will be in the Superdome on Sunday Jan. 21 at 5:40 p.m. on FOX. Gano kicked a fourth field goal of 29 yards in the third quarter drawing Carolina to within 21-12. The Superdome was rocking on Sunday, making it more hard for the Panthers; and the Cajun Cannon pointed out the Saints could face that kind of environment in their next game.

Sean Peyton dialed up play action at the ideal times, getting favorable matchups and clearing space for Brees to operate. "It creates an atmosphere that makes you think, 'No matter what, we're going to find a way to win this game'".

After driving to the Saints 21-yard line inside the final minute, the Panthers suffered a costly intentional grounding call against quarterback Cam Newton that resulted in loss of down and devastating 10-second runoff at the Saints 34. On Carolina's second possession, Newton's pass in the end zone went through the hands of wide receiver Kaelin Clay before place-kicker Graham Gano missed a 25-yard field-goal attempt. The sack by Onyemata came as Newton tried to spin away from Tyeler Davison and slammed his head into Onyemata's chest.

After another pair of dueling field goals, Carolina threatened early in the fourth quarter, with Newton finally locating his favorite target, Greg Olson, for a 14-yard touchdown to draw the Panthers within five points. The Saints opted to go for it on fourth down at Carolina's 47, gambling that Brees could get 2 yards rather than punting the ball deeper into Carolina territory.

"I just have to be better", he said.

The Jaguars limited the Bills to a second-quarter field goal in a 10-3 victory that puts Jacksonville in the divisional round for the first time since January 2008. Brees's long throw off a roll-out to wide receiver Michael Thomas set up what proved to be the decisive touchdown.

The New Orleans Saints made the most of their return to the National Football League playoffs Sunday as quarterback Drew Brees celebrated with a turn-back-the-clock performance. "My helmet had come down low enough over my eyelid and it got pressed by the player's stomach".


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