The home side began the contest in a dominant fashion and they inevitably took the lead through Benjamin Watson, who made use of a 14-yarder from Drew Brees to complete the touchdown.
The Saints were soon 14-0 ahead before the conclusion of the first, this time as Stephone Anthony capitalised on a 31-yard fumble return to push the hosts into a strong lead.
The Panthers responded positively at the start of the second quarter, however, and they found a route back into the game thanks to Mike Tolbert, as he caught hold of a 13-yard pass from Cam Newton to move the scores to 14-7.
Things grew even more promising for Carolina just a few minutes later, as they moved within touching distance of the Saints, this time as Jonathan Stewart completed a five-yard rush, before seeing Graham Gano fail with the extra attempt.
Thankfully for New Orleans, they were able to press on into a very slender advantage come the break, with Anthony profiting from a defensive two-point attempt having recovered a blocked kick.