Carolina - Cam Newton ran for two touchdowns and threw for two more on Sunday to
power the Carolina Panthers into Super Bowl 50 with a 49-15 victory over
the Arizona Cardinals.
The Panthers will face the Denver Broncos in two weeks in the NFL's
championship spectacle at San Francisco. Denver edged New England 20-18
in Sunday's other playoff contest.
Newton sparked Carolina to a 13th consecutive home triumph that sent
the Panthers to only their second Super Bowl. They lost to New England
In completing 19 of 28 passes for 335 yards, Newton became the first
NFL playoff passer to crack 300 yards and run for two touchdowns as
Carolina set a scoring record for the National Conference final.
"We just wanted to start fast, be efficient and keep our hands on the
ball," Newton said. "We all battled and worked so hard. For it to come
to fruition is great.
"We won as a team. We came out here and fought our tails off and did what a lot of people said we couldn't do.
"We're not done yet."
Newton, who has run or thrown for 50 touchdowns this season, and
Arizona's Carson Palmer created the first NFL playoff quarterback
matchup between two winners of the collegiate top player award, the
But from the start it was Newton, who sparked Carolina to a 15-1
regular season, who dominated the matchup as Arizona committed seven
"Cam played a great game," Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said.
Carolina's Graham Gano opened the scoring with a 45-yard field goal
and Ted Ginn electrified the Carolina home crowd by scoring on a 22-yard
run as the Panthers seized a 10-0 edge just 10:29 into the first
Ginn, who set up the touchdown with a 33-yard punt return, took a
pitch from Newton and ran around the left end, then cut back across the
field and eluded tacklers to reach the end zone.
After Newton connected with Corey Brown on an 86-yard touchdown, the
longest pass play in Carolina playoff history, the Panthers owned a 17-0
lead late in the first quarter.
Palmer marched the Cardinals 79 yards in 10 plays to finally crack
the scoreboard on David Johnson's 1-yard touchdown run with 5:44
remaining in the second quarter.
Arizona's Patrick Peterson fumbled a punt return to set up the
Panthers at midfield and a Carolina attack that led the NFL in scoring
off turnovers took advantage, Newton scoring on a one-yard dive to put
the hosts ahead 24-7.
Carolina lost defensive starters Thomas Davis and Roman Harper to
first-half injuries but the Panthers had more than enough to hold off an
Gano added a 21-yard field goal for Carolina on the first drive of
the second half and Newton added a 12-yard touchdown run for a 34-7
Palmer connected with Darren Fells on a 21-yard touchdown toss 44
seconds into the fourth quarter but Coleman, who led Carolina with seven
interceptions this season, picked off Palmer again to kill another
Newton flipped a 5-yard touchdown pass to Devin Funchess and
connected on a 2-point conversion throw for a 42-15 lead and Luke
Kuechly returned a Palmer interception 21 yards for a touchdown to end
any Arizona hope.