Newton leads Panthers by Titans, now 9-0
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Cam Newton was perfect for almost a half. That was more than enough to keep the Carolina Panthers perfect for the season.
Newton completed his first 11 passes – the longest streak of his career – and undefeated Carolina shut out Tennessee in the second half of a 27-10 victory on Sunday.
Newton ran for a touchdown and passed for another score as the Panthers (9-0) extended their league-best winning streak to 13 games.
The Titans (2-7) suffered their 10th straight home loss in the first home game under interim coach Mike Mularkey.
Carolina led 14-10 at halftime. The Panthers padded the lead on Graham Gano’s field goals of 48 and 19 yards and Newton’s 2-yard touchdown run with less than 3 minutes remaining.
Tennessee rookie Marcus Mariota was 16 for 24 for 185 yards and an interception. The Titans had only one first down in the second half until their final possession, which ended with a catch and lost fumble by Dexter McCluster.
Newton completed 21 of 26 passes for 217 yards. His strong start included a 1-yard scoring pass to Ed Dickson early in the second quarter.
Newton’s previous longest streak was 10 completions. He added 23 yards rushing, including the scoring run.
The Titans turned up the heat on their pass rush on Newton to open the second half. After having only one sack in the first half, the defense recorded sacks on three straight plays on Carolina’s first possession after halftime.
Carolina’s defense was even stronger. The Titans were held to 19 yards and one first down in the third quarter, and they never regained the momentum they showed early in the game when Mariota was effective as a runner and passer.
The Panthers were held to 11 first downs for the game.
The Titans played with a short-handed secondary. Starting cornerbacks Perrish Cox and Jason McCourty were inactive due to injuries. Bidi Wreh-Wilson, who started for Cox, left early in the second half with a hamstring injury.
Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter was carted off the field with an apparent right ankle injury late in the game.
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