Cardinals 22, Panthers 6

Bob McManaman, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Cam Newton returned to the scene of his NFL debut, and just like the first time, he left with a loss.
The Arizona Cardinals sacked the Carolina Panthers quarterback seven times, intercepted him three times and the Cardinals offense did just enough to help them score a 22-6 victory on Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Newton passed for 422 yards here two years ago, the most ever by a rookie quarterback starting his first NFL game, but the Panthers lost that game, too, 28-21.
This time, Newton completed 21 of 39 passes for 308 yards. He and the Panthers were coming off a bye week following their 38-0 rout of the New York Giants - Carolina's first shutout in five seasons.
The Cardinals (3-2) finished with just 253 total yards and withstood a shaky afternoon by quarterback Carson Palmer, who was intercepted three times.
He completed 19 of 28 passes for 175 yards and one touchdown.
Arizona's only real competent drive came in the third quarter when it went 85 yards on 10 plays, capped by a 1-yard touchdown run from Rashard Mendenhall that gave the Cardinals a 10-6 lead.
When the Panthers got the ball back, they immediately gave it back. On first-and-10 from his own 5-yard line, Newton was tackled in the end zone by defensive end Calais Campbell for a safety.
It was the first regular-season safety by the Cardinals in nine years.
The Panthers (2-3) were still in this game after Campbell recorded the safety, but on their ensuing possession, Newton was picked off by inside linebacker Daryl Washington.
Washington, playing in his first game of the season after serving a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, returned the interception 41 yards.
The Cardinals couldn't convert that turnover, just as they couldn't when Patrick Peterson intercepted a Newton pass in the second quarter and returned it 43 yards.
But the constant pressure and solid coverage by the Cardinals' defensive backs forced Newton to be almost perfect, and he wasn't.
Arizona padded its lead to 15-6 with a 50-yard field goal by Jay Feely, who also connected from 42 yards earlier.
Another Campbell sack of Newton, meanwhile, forced a fumble with a little more than two minutes left to play that sealed it for the Cardinals. Following a 40-yard return of a fumble recovery by Antoine Cason, Palmer found tight end Jim Dray in the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown.
It was the first career touchdown for Dray.
Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby had two sacks and an interception.
NOTES: Cardinals safety Rashad Johnson, who lost the tip of his left middle finger during a game two weeks ago at New Orleans, missed his second consecutive game. He had hoped to play after returning to practice late last week. ... Carolina lost left guard Amini Silatolu to a knee injury in the third quarter. He did not return and his status wasn't immediately known. ... Peterson had an interception called back because of a third-quarter defensive holding penalty. ... The Panthers were without starting safety Quintin Mikell (ankle) and defensive tackle Dwan Edwards (hamstring). ... Carolina running back DeAngelo Williams was held to 39 yards on 12 carries by the NFL's second-best defense against the run.

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