The New Orleans Saints dropped their 2012 regular season finale on Sunday afternoon, falling to the Carolina Panthers, 44-38, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

New Orleans led at the half, 17-13, and later held a 24-13 lead the the 10:45 mark of the third quarter, before Carolina scored 28 unanswered points, to take a 41-24 lead at the 8:23 mark of the fourth quarter.

The Saints were able to rally, scoring two touchdowns in the last 5:10 of the game, but it was too little, too late, as the Panthers walked away with the six-point win.

Carolina was able to out-gain New Orleans, in terms of total yards, 530-441.

Leading the way for the Panthers was running back DeAngelo Williams, who rushed for a career-high 210 yards, while scoring twice, on 21 carries.

Quarterback Drew Brees paced New Orleans in a losing cause, throwing for 396 yards, along with four touchdowns.

Carolina ends their season winning four-consecutive games, and five of their last six, to finish at 7-9, while the Saints, with the loss, also finish their year with a record of 7-9.

View the game box score.