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Panthers stumble to win over the Saints in season's final game

Both teams were playing for pride - and draft position - on Sunday as the game had no bearing on the NFL playoffs.

NEW ORLEANS — When an offensive lineman scores your team's only touchdown, you've had a weird day.

In a game neither team seemed to want to win, the Carolina Panthers outlasted the New Orleans Saints 10-7 with an Eddy Piñeiro field goal as time expired. 

Both offenses sputtered all game and only scored one time each in the game's first 59 minutes. The Panthers prevailed with a field goal as time expired after a flurry of turnovers and missed chances to win.

New Orleans looked to be ready to run away with the game early on. The Saints scored on the game's opening drive off a 25-yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton to Chris Olave. 

The Panthers' first three drives ended with punts but the Saints were unable to add to their lead. A missed field goal by New Orleans's Wil Lutz left the score at 7-0 in the second quarter.

The Saints marched to the Panthers' 20-yard line on their next drive, but were unable to convert a 4th & 1 after the Carolina defense shut down Alvin Kamara.

The Panthers responded with a 14-play drive where the team looked to get on the scoreboard for the first time in the game until Sam Darnold threw an interception near the goal line that left the game 7-0 at halftime.

Carolina opened the second half with another 14-play drive, this one went 82 yards and was largely thanks to D'Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard.

Darnold scrambled in an attempt to score from the 3-yard line when he was hit and fumbled the ball. Carolina's lineman Michael Jordan fell on the ball in the endzone for a touchdown. It's the first time in franchise history that a lineman scored a touchdown.

The Panthers and Saints traded punts for the remainder of the third quarter and well into the fourth quarter. 

Carolina got possession with just under two minutes remaining and had a chance to get a late score with time winding down. Then Darnold threw an interception on the first drive of the play, giving the Saints the ball in Carolina territory.

With New Orleans starting at Carolina's 35-yard line with just around 1:40 left on the clock, it seemed inevitable that the team would kick a go-ahead field goal, possibly with time expiring. However, the Saints did manage the clock well and left more than enough time for the Panthers as Lutz shanked the 55-yard field goal attempt.

The Panthers got one last chance, seemingly, and this time Darnold scrambled and passed efficiently to get Carolina into field goal range.

Piñeiro nailed the 42-yard field goal with zero seconds on the clock to send the Panthers to a 7-10 record. Coupled with Carolina's win over New Orleans in Week 3, it's the first time the Panthers have swept the Saints since 2015.

This article will be updated.

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