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Saints close 'bounty' season with history-making 44-38 loss to Carolina

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    New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees holds his head down during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)The Associated Press

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    Carolina Panthers' DeAngelo Williams (34) breaks away for a 65-heard run during the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)The Associated Press

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    New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) congratulated tight end Jimmy Graham after Graham's touchdown reception during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)The Associated Press

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    New Orleans Saints' Marques Colston (12) catches a seven-yard touchdown pass with Carolina Panthers' D.J. Campbell (26) defending during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)The Associated Press

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    Carolina Panthers' Steve Smith (89) is tripped up by New Orleans Saints' Patrick Robinson (21) after a catch during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)The Associated Press

Drew Brees made more NFL history, but so did the Saints' defense in an undesirable way, and the Carolina Panthers rallied to a 44-38 victory Sunday.

DeAngelo Williams rushed for 210 yards, including touchdown runs of 54 and 12 yards, for Carolina (7-9), which has won four straight. His 65-yard gain set up the first of three 1-yard scoring runs by Mike Tolbert.

Brees passed for 396 yards, giving him 5,177 this season. That makes him the first player to eclipse 5,000 yards three times. His four TD passes gave him 43 in 2012, and he's the first player with 40 TD passes in consecutive seasons.

The Saints (7-9) also gave up 530 yards, raising their season total to 7,042 to break the old record of 6,793 allowed by the 1981 Baltimore Colts.

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