Newton throws 5 TDs, Panthers go to 10-0
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Cam Newton didn’t have any new touchdown celebrations on Sunday.
He let his receivers do the dancing for him.
Newton threw a career-high five touchdowns passes, and the Carolina Panthers improved to 10-0 on the season with a 44-16 win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday.
Newton completed 21 of 34 passes for 246 yards and threw TD passes to five different receivers as Carolina stretched its regular-season win streak to 14 games, including eighth straight at home.
The Panthers are the 16th team in the Super Bowl era to start 10-0. Of the previous 15, all made the playoffs and nine have advanced to the Super Bowl, with six winning it all.
The Panthers (10-0) scored 27 points off five Washington turnovers, three of those by quarterback Kirk Cousins.
Newton became the first Carolina quarterback in franchise history to throw four TD passes in the first half as the Panthers jumped out to a 31-14 lead.
Jonathan Stewart ran for 102 yards on 21 carries and caught a 12-yard touchdown pass. Mike Tolbert, Greg Olsen, Ted Ginn Jr. and Devin Funchess also caught TD passes.
Andre Roberts had a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown for the Redskins (4-6), who’ve lost nine straight on the road.
With the game tied at 14 in the second quarter, Newton led an eight-play 92-yard touchdown drive, capping it with a 2-yard TD pass to Ginn.
The Redskins had a 74-yard interception return for a touchdown by cornerback Chris Culliver called back on the drive when officials ruled he had delivered an illegal helmet-to-helmet hit on Olsen before the interception.
The game turned from there with the Panthers scoring 30 consecutive points.
On Washington’s next possession, rookie Matt Jones – filling in for Alfred Morris, who left in the first quarter with a rib injury – was stripped of the ball by Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis recovered at the Redskins 24.
Newton found Olsen on a crossing route for a 9-yard TD pass to push the lead to 28-14.
Kony Ealy had a strip-sack of Cousins on Washington’s next possession and recovered the ball at the Carolina 38 leading to Graham Gano’s field goal at the end of the first half.
Carolina’s momentum carried into the second half as Bene Benwikere sacked Cousins on the first play from scrimmage on a cornerback blitz, jarring the ball loose and recovering at the Redskins 20. Newton found Funchess for his franchise-tying fifth TD pass of the game to give Carolina a 38-14 lead.
With a game on Thursday at Dallas, Panthers coach Ron Rivera removed most of his starters with his team up 44-14.
The Panthers became the first NFL team to go 10-0 after having a losing record the previous season, according to STATS.
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