They say adversity reveals true character.
The now 10-3 New Orleans Saints destroyed the Carolina Panthers (9-4) in what was undoubtedly the biggest game of the season. A week after getting destroyed themselves (34-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks), in what was previously dubbed the biggest game of the season, the Saints bounced back with a masterful display against a division foe.
The defense showed up to the party early, with a bend-but-don't-break approach, but it was the surgical precision with which the offense operated that truly did the Panthers in.
With veteran receiver Marques Colston playing a feature role, and fellow veteran receivers Lance Moore and Robert Meachem making cameo appearances, the Saints made the Sunday night feature look, well, kind of easy.
With Carolina being the hottest team in the NFL, after winning its last eight games, forcing them to give up a season-high 31 points means something. Doing so with the No. 2 seed in the playoffs on the line means even more.
With three games remaining until the playoffs, and a lot of work to be done, the Saints played their best game of the season with the stakes at its highest.
Once the Saints fully figure out a way to bottle up the intensity they play with at home, they will undoubtedly be a force of competitive nature.
But for now they have to settle with just being the best.