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Broncos v Panthers in Super Bowl 50

2016-01-25 11:12
NFL (File)

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 2004.

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 Heisman Trophy.

But from the start it was Newton, who sparked Carolina to a 15-1 regular season, who dominated the matchup as Arizona committed seven turnovers.

"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 quarter.

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 Arizona rally.

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 Panthers lead.

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 Arizona drive.

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.

Read more on:    super bowl  |  nfl

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