Now it’s Cam vs. “Sheri≠ ”

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Barry Wilner

CHAR­LOTTE, N.C.» Su­per­man is headed for the Su­per Bowl.

He’s tak­ing the Carolina Pan­thers with him.

Cam New­ton threw for two touch­downs and ran for two oth­ers, and Carolina’s big-play de­fense sti­fled the league’s top-ranked of­fense in a 49-15 romp Sun­day in the NFC cham­pi­onship game. It was the most points for a win­ner of an NFC ti­tle game.

The NFL’s new top man at quar­ter­back — New­ton is an all-pro this sea­son — will lead the Pan­thers against five-time MVP Pey­ton Man­ning and the Bron­cos on Feb. 7. Carolina is fa­vored by four points.

“Play­ing the ‘Sher­iff,’ ” New­ton said of Man­ning. “We’re go­ing to live in the mo­ment right now. We’re go­ing to be ex­cited.”

It will be New­ton’s first trip to the Su­per Bowl and the se­cond trip to the big game for the Pan­thers (17-1), who lost to New Eng­land 12 years ago.

“We won as a team,” New­ton said. “We came out here and fought our tails off. and we did what a lot of peo­ple said we couldn’t do. It’s not over yet. We’ll be ready to go in two weeks.”

Carolina’s D was as de­struc­tive as Den­ver’s on Sun­day. It picked off Car­son Palmer four times, forced two fum­bles by him and never let up the as­sault.

Spe­cial teams also had a take­away, and when Carolina grabbed a 24-7 half­time lead this time, it didn’t back off, as it did in nearly blow­ing a 31-point mar­gin a week ear­lier against Seat­tle.

When New­ton flew into the end zone for a 12-yard, third-quar­ter touch­down — no, he didn’t have a cape on — he posed like a su­per­hero, dabbed a bit and pointed the Pan­thers to­ward the Bay Area and Su­per Bowl 50.

New­ton fin­ished with 335 yards pass­ing and 47 rush­ing as Carolina won its 13th straight home game, in­clud­ing three in the play­offs.

One of his big­gest helpers was Ted Ginn Jr., who was dumped by the Car­di­nals af­ter last sea­son. Ginn had a 32-yard punt re­turn to set up his weav­ing 22-yard TD run, and chased down al­lpro cor­ner­back Pa­trick Peter­son to pre­vent a sec­ondquar­ter touch­down.

Carolina’s de­fense did the rest, most no­tably mak­ing Palmer un­com­fort­able in the pocket and turn­ing star wide­out Larry Fitzger­ald into a vir­tual nonen­tity.

Carolina all-pro linebacker Thomas Davis left with a bro­ken right fore­arm but said he will do “what­ever it takes” to play in the Su­per Bowl.

Carolina Pan­thers quar­ter­back Cam New­ton scores a 12-yard touch­down run dur­ing the third quar­ter Sun­day against the Ari­zona Car­di­nals in the NFC cham­pi­onship game. Kevin C. Cox, Getty Im­ages North Amer­ica

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