New Orleans scored a touchdown on their next possession to stretch the lead to 31-19, and Newton was back on the field when the Panthers' offense regained the ball.
That was as close as they got, prolonging a painful trend in an excruciating 31-26 loss Sunday night in the NFC wild-card round.
"No, it's not mine, but I have been drinking it for years".
We will give Jordan some credit for not going cheap on the bottle.
"We have been telling youi that he is the best quarterback in football in the league".
And yet Drew Brees was not about to gloat.
Carolina clawed their way back into the game during the fourth quarter after trailing by as many as 15 points. They have all this stuff going on.
Certainly, Jordan expects a different game that Week 1, when the Saints had one sack by Jordan against then-starter Sam Bradford.
The first part of the plan worked incredibly well.
As he has done ever since first donning the Saints' black-and-gold uniform in 2006, Brees threw for more than 4,000 yards this season, marking the 12 consecutive season he has reached that plateau.
For the record, Kaelin Clay dropped the first-quarter touchdown.
And in the meat of Sunday's game, Brees was, well, Brees-like.
The most glaring piece missing from the equation is a top-flight wide receiver who can take the pressure off Newton so he doesn't feel he has to run; this season, he had a career-high 754 rushing yards. He passed for 349 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.
"That was huge", Brees said.
On Carolina's next-to-last play, Devin Funchess had a chance to complete an awesome comeback with a 34-yard touchdown catch. "I thought maybe somebody had stuck their finger in my eye, but I've got on a visor, so that couldn't happen".
Brees' 16-yard completion to Thomas on third-and-6 gave New Orleans a first down at its 45.
The Saints defense is also better than in past years and it will take a hell of an effort by Carolina to win this one, especially inside a noisy dome filled with crazed fans. The championship gear. Alvin Kamara's two-yard touchdown run with five minutes left seemed to seal the game for the Saints.
"If you watch that closely on film, Drew kind of shuffled quickly to his right and found Ginn behind the coverage", said Saints Head Football Coach Sean Payton, "It was a heck of a play by him". "(There were) a lot of loaded fronts, defensively. "We need to learn our lessons from this year where things went wrong, moves that need to be made and find ways to improve".
Payton said he didn't think that the Panthers were testing Brees.
"Our quarterback was out of the pocket", he said. You just have to wait and see how it plays out.
Now, he said he's just preparing for that next game. Tom Brady and the Patriots (13-3) have home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs as they begin their postseason with an opportunity to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
But it ended fittingly, with no one to throw the ball to, at least no one with the skill or wherewithal to actually go catch it, even with everything on the line. Really all the receivers did a great job today.