Drew Brees hit Pierre Thomas for a six-yard touchdown with 57 seconds left in the game Sunday, lifting the New Orleans Saints to a 30-27 win over upset-minded Carolina at Charlotte, N.C.

Brees completed 32 of 45 passes for 359 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for New Orleans (4-1), which has reeled off four straight wins since a season-opening loss to defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay.

Brees outdueled Carolina rookie Cam Newton, who bounced back from an interception on the game's first series to pass for two touchdowns and rush for a third while throwing for 224 yards.

But Carolina (1-4), as it has in many early-season games, came close, but did not win.

Brees was the day's early passing star around the NFL. He also threw a touchdown pass to fullback Jed Collins and hit tight end Jimmy Graham eight times for 129 yards.

Newton completed 16 of 31 passes and also rushed for 27 yards. DeAngelo Williams rushed for a game-high 115 yards for Carolina, including a 69-yard touchdown jaunt.