Newton throws for four TDs as Panthers rout Dolphins
WASHINGTON – Agence France-Presse
Newton completed 21 of 35 passes while Jonathan Stewart ran 17 times for 110 yards to spark the host Panthers, who improved to 7-3, just behind first-place New Orleans (7-2) in the NFC South division.
It's the first three-game win streak for Carolina since a 14-0 start in 2015.
"Being able to do this at home made it a little bit more special," said Christian McCaffrey, who ran for one touchdown and caught a pass for another. "Our offense is at our best when we're in a rhythm and flowing."
The Dolphins fell to 4-5, missing a chance to match Buffalo for second in the AFC East with their third loss in a row.
Carolina's Graham Gano kicked a 40-yard field goal in the first quarter to open the scoring and the Panthers jumped ahead 10-0 on McCaffrey's 4-yard touchdown run, which capped a 12-play, 85-yard march with 7:05 remaining in the second quarter.
Miami answered with a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that ended on Jay Cutler's 2-yard pass to Julius Thomas, pulling the Dolphins within 10-7.
But Carolina's Luke Kuechly intercepted a Cutler pass and four plays later, Newton tossed a 7-yard touchdown pass to Ed Dickson with 19 seconds remaining in the second quarter and the Panthers seized a 17-7 half-time lead.
Newton flipped a screen pass to Devin Funchess and he rambled into the end zone on a 28-yard touchdown reception only 3:10 into the third quarter.
After Carolina's defenders stopped Miami on downs to force a turnover, the Panthers struck again with Cameron Artis-Payne rushing 12 yards for a touchdown as the Panthers stretched their lead to 31-7.
The Dolphins responded with their longest play of the season, a 66-yard touchdown run by Kenyan Drake. The play snapped Miami's club-record nine-game touchdown run drought.
But Newton led the Panthers to answer quickly, his 69-yard run to the Miami 18-yard line setting up his 2-yard touchdown pass to McCaffrey four plays later as Carolina stretched the lead to 38-14.
Newton connected with Funchess on a 32-yard touchdown pass with 8:20 remaining but Miami answered with Cutler finding Jarvis Landry on a 9-yard touchdown pass with 4:13 to play.