CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Denver Broncos coach John Fox had the right idea when he wanted to deflect attention upon returning to Bank of America Stadium to face his former employer.
He brought along Peyton Manning and a stifling defense.
In another efficient performance, Manning and the Broncos overwhelmed the Carolina Panthers in a 36-14 outcome Sunday afternoon.
Fox, who was coach of the Panthers for nine seasons (2002-10), saw his Broncos increase their winning streak to four games.
The Panthers (2-7) have lost their last four home games.
Manning was 27-for-38 for 301 yards through the air. He completed 16 of his first 17 passes.
His Carolina counterpart endured another rough day. Cam Newton was sacked seven times, with the final one resulting in a fourth-quarter safety.
Until a fourth-quarter drive when he connected on 6 of 7 throws, Newton had completed 12 of 24 passes for 160 yards, with one of his errant tosses returned for a touchdown. He was intercepted twice in the game.
The Broncos (6-3) went ahead on the first play of the second quarter on Trindon Holliday's 76-yard punt return, breaking a 7-7 tie.
Matt Prater's 53-yard field goal made it 17-7, but he missed from 43 yards out with less than two minutes to play in the first half. The impact was minimized when Panthers kicker Justin Medlock missed from 43 yards away with 40 seconds left before halftime.
Turnovers on back-to-back plays in the third quarter resulted in a Denver touchdown when cornerback Tony Carter returned Newton's pass 40 yards after an interception. On the previous play, Carolina defensive end Charles Johnson stripped Manning, causing a fumble.
Prater's 27-yard field goal with 14:17 remaining extended the Broncos' lead to 27-7.
Manning's 10-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Stokley gave Denver its first points. It was the 420th career touchdown pass for Manning, matching him with Dan Marino for second-most in NFL history behind only Brett Favre.
The Panthers opened the scoring when Newton connected with tight end Greg Olsen on a 4-yard touchdown pass on the team's second possession. It was Olsen's third reception (for 46 yards) on the six-play, 77-yard drive.
Olsen caught a 5-yard fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Newton. That drive also covered 77 yards, though it took 10 plays.
The Broncos sealed the outcome on rookie running back Ronnie Hillman's first career touchdown. It came on a 5-yard run with 3:23 remaining.
Notes: Broncos LB Von Miller followed through on a game-week wish by going with a "Superman" pose upon sacking Newton. Newton has made popular the "Superman" routine upon scoring touchdowns. Newton was the No. 1 overall draft selection in 2011 and Miller was No. 2 overall. ... CB Chris Harris was in the Broncos starting lineup in place of CB Tracy Porter. ... The Panthers were in monochromatic black uniforms for the first time, donning black pants and black jerseys for the first time in franchise history. ... Carolina has lost the coin toss in its first nine games. ... Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas (knee) left the game briefly for the second consecutive week but was able to return. ... Punters had a noteworthy day, with Broncos P Britton Colquitt's first-quarter boots going 60 and 52 yards and a 57-yard effort in the fourth quarter. Panthers P Brad Nortman provided a 57-yarder in the first quarter, then launched a 59-yarder on the first play of the second quarter, with Holliday making the touchdown return.