CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WGHP) — The Carolina Panthers beat the New Orleans Saints 22-14 in a low-scoring defensive affair in Charlotte on Sunday.

The Panthers were buoyed by strong performances on defense and special teams giving them their first home win in over a year.

Linebacker Frankie Luvu got the party started for the Panthers, stripping the ball out of Saints star running back Alvin Kamara’s hands. EDGE Marquis Haynes picked up the fumble and returned it for a score to give the Panthers the early lead.

Panthers 7-Saints 0

A pair of second quarter field goals by Eddy Pineiro gave the Panthers a two-possession lead heading into the half.

The Saints attempted to get points on the board with a late field goal before the half but it was blocked by the Panthers.

Panthers 13-Saints 0

The Saints came out of the half looking to get points on the board driving to the Panthers’ 19-yard-line.

The defense for the Panthers stepped up again with safety Jeremy Chinn getting an 11-yard sack forcing a long 48-yard field goal that sailed wide right persevering the Panthers’ 13-0 lead.

Panthers 13-Saints 0

After the teams exchanged a few do-nothing drives, the Saints finally drove down the field and put points on the board thanks to six consecutive short completions from quarterback Jameis Winston.

Running back Mark Ingram closed the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run to bring the Panthers’ lead down to six points at the start of the fourth quarter.

Panthers 13-Saints 7

The Panthers’ offense finally woke up on the following drive, newly acquired wide receiver Laviska Shenault got the Panthers in good field position after returning a kick for 36 yards.

Two plays later, Shemault caught a screen pass broke a couple of tackles and took off into the endzone for a 67-yard touchdown.

The Panthers went for a two-point conversion and failed.

Panthers 19-Saints 7

The Panthers’ defense made yet another play on the following drive.

After the Saints started the drive with a quick first down, Panthers defensive tackle Derrick Brown almost came away with a one-handed interception after Chinn deflected a Saints screen pass.

Not one to be deterred, Brown would come down with an interception the very next play, a rare event for the big player.

That would set up a 36-yard Pinerio field goal for the Panthers.

Panthers 22-Saints 7

The Saints did not give up, after a pair of punts, quarterback Jameis Winston connected on two long passes to get the Saints into the redzone.

Wide receiver Marquez Callaway made an amazing one-handed grab on a four-yard touchdown to bring the Saints within one possession near the final two minutes of the game.

Panthers 22-Saints 14

The Saints sensing their limited time to make a comeback went for an onside kick which was recovered by Panthers wide receiver DJ Moore.

The Panthers then began to milk the clock with star running back Christian McCaffrey getting the clock down to 27 seconds before punting the ball away.

Punter Johnny Hekker perfectly downed the ball on the 1-yard line forcing a Hail Mary pass that was intercepted by cornerback Jaycee Horn securing the win for the Panthers.

FINAL: Panthers 22-Saints 14