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Stats and Superlatives: Defense, special teams make big plays



  • The Panthers made a number of big plays on defense and special teams, returning a fumble for a touchdown, blocking a field goal and making two interceptions. Sunday was the first time since 2004 (Week 12 vs. Tampa Bay) that Carolina had a defensive TD and blocked field goal in the same game.
  • After not recording a takeaway in the first two weeks, the Panthers had three on Sunday. It was the first time since Week 16 in 2020 (at Washington, 4) that Carolina had at least three takeaways.
  • The Panthers' defensive touchdown was their first since 2020 (Jeremy Chinn against Minnesota), while the field goal block was their first since 2019 (Kyle Love against Washington).
  • The Panthers had a 67-yard touchdown, their third play of 50-plus yards in 2022, tying for the most in the NFL this season.
  • The Saints held an edge in net yards (426-293), first downs (19-12) and average gain per play (6.7-5.0). But Carolina's defense held the Saints to 50 percent (2-of-4) in the red zone and forced two missed field goals.
  • Carolina rushed for 145 yards while holding New Orleans to 84 yards. The Panthers are averaging 145.5 rushing yards over the past two games.
  • Both teams struggled on third down as the Saints went 5-of-13 (38.5 percent) and the Panthers were 4-of-14 (28.6 percent). Carolina is converting 27.0 percent of its third downs (29th) through three games.


  • Running back Christian McCaffrey went over 100 rushing yards for the second straight week, his 12th career 100-yard rushing game. After Sunday's early games, McCaffrey is tied for third in the NFL with 243 rushing yards.
  • Wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. had a 67-yard catch and run for a TD, a career-long play in his first action as a Panther. Shenault finished with 144 all-purpose yards on two receptions and two kick returns.
  • Linebacker Shaq Thompson had four tackles and a pass deflection. He moved into fourth place in franchise history with 583 career tackles (press box stats).
  • Defensive tackle Derrick Brown had two tackles, two pass deflections and an interception on a tipped ball. It was the first Panthers interception by a defensive lineman since Week 3 of 2018 (Efe Obada against Cincinnati).
  • Defensive end Marquis Haynes Sr. scored his first career touchdown by returning a fumble 44 yards. Haynes has a team-high four fumble recoveries since 2019, tied for 16th-most in the NFL. He's the only player in the top-16 with fewer than 1,000 snaps played.
  • Safety Jeremy Chinn had a team-high eight tackles with a sack, tackle for loss and two pass deflections. Chinn was the third different player to lead the team in tackles in three weeks.
  • Punter Johnny Hekker placed four punts inside the 20 with a net average of 44.0. Hekker now ranks 10th in NFL history with 308 career punts inside the 20.

View best in-game photos from Carolina's home game against New Orleans.

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