Panthers win big
Newton throws four TD passes
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Cam Newton was tired of the Carolina Panthers’ defense getting all of the glory.
Newton took it as a challenge when the defense vaulted to the league’s No. 1 ranking last week, saying it was time for the offense to strive to match them.
Newton did his part on Monday, throwing for 254 yards and four touchdowns and running for 95 more as the Panthers piled up a franchise-record 548 yards in a 45-21 rout of the Miami Dolphins.
“It’s nice to see them have this type of breakout game,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said of the offense, which had 30 first downs and converted 11 of 14 third downs.
Said Newton: “I still feel like we are scratching the surface of our potential in this offense. We have to trust in our ability to execute our coach’s plan.”
Newton improved to 5-1 in Monday night games, while averaging 270.5 yards per game with 15 touchdowns and four interceptions.
“There is something about this stage with him,” Rivera said. “He played a tremendous game.”
Jonathan Stewart ran for a season-high 110 yards, and Newton had a 69-yard jaunt on a read option as the Panthers racked up 294 yards on the ground.
Rookie Christian McCaffrey scored touchdowns rushing and receiving, and Devin Funchess caught five passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns for the Panthers (7-3).
Jay Cutler had 213 yards passing with two touchdowns and one interception for the Dolphins (4-5), who have lost three straight. Jarvis Landry and Julian Thomas both caught TD passes for Miami.
The game turned with 41 seconds left in the first half, when Luke Kuechly made a leaping interception along the sideline with Carolina leading 10-7. Four plays later, Newton connected with tight end Ed Dickson on a 7-yard touchdown pass. That opened the floodgates as the Panthers scored touchdowns on five straight possessions in their most explosive output of the season.
Carolina quarterback Cam Newton celebrates a touchdown pass in the second half of the Panthers’ 45-21 win over Miami on Monday
The Panthers’ Jonathan Stewart leaps over the Dolphins’ Cordrea Tankersley in the second half.