Arizona Cardinals vs. Carolina Panthers

ARI
15
CAR
49
FINAL
1234T
ARI 070815
CAR 177101549

Game Information
Location: Bank of America Stadium Charlotte, North Carolina
Attendance: 74,294

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Superman is bringing his cape and his pen to Super Bowl 50. He's leaving behind his camera.

"Yeah, we are going to the Super Bowl. We are not going just to take pictures," Cam Newton said Sunday after leading the Carolina Panthers into the big game with a 49-15 rout of Arizona for the NFC championship. "We are trying to finish this thing off."

That would be against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in two weeks.

"Playing the sheriff," Newton said of Manning. "We're going to live in the moment right now. We're going to be excited."

Newton threw for two touchdowns and ran for two others, and Carolina's big-play defense stifled Arizona's top-ranked offense. The 49 points were the most for an NFC title game winner.

The NFL's new top man at quarterback - Newton is an All-Pro this season - goes against five-time MVP Manning. Carolina is favored by four points.

"We've been dreaming about this moment since Day 1," Newton said. "Our pen has a lot more ink left."

It will be Newton's first trip to the Super Bowl and the second for the Panthers (17-1), who lost to New England 12 years ago. Denver, of course, has made a habit of going to Super Bowls, reaching it for a record-tying eighth time.

And while the Broncos' defense carried it past New England 20-18 for the AFC crown, Carolina's D was just as destructive. It picked off Carson Palmer four times, forced two fumbles by him, and never let up the assault.

Special teams also had a takeaway, and when Carolina grabbed a 24-7 halftime lead this time, it didn't back off, as it did in nearly blowing a 31-point margin a week ago vs. Seattle.

When Newton flew into the end zone for a 12-yard third-quarter touchdown - no, he didn't have the cape on - he posed like a superhero, dabbed a bit, and pointed the Panthers toward the Bay Area.

Newton finished with 335 yards passing and 47 rushing as Carolina won its 13th straight home game, including three in the playoffs.

One of his biggest helpers was Ted Ginn Jr., who was dumped by the Cardinals after last season. Ginn had a 32-yard punt return to set up his weaving 22-yard TD run, and chased down All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson to prevent a second-quarter touchdown. He also had 52 yards on two receptions.

"Yes, it was personal," Ginn said. "My team knew it was personal."

Carolina's defense did the rest, most notably making Palmer uncomfortable in the pocket and turning Larry Fitzgerald, the star of last week's overtime victory against Green Bay, into a virtual non-entity. It led the league with 39 takeaways, and at times it made an Arizona team that gained more yards than anyone look amateurish.

"We wanted to come out and play a complete game and I think the guys up front played exceptional," linebacker Luke Kuechly said. "There was pressure all day."

Capping the barrage was Kuechly, who returned an interception 22 yards for a score. The 49 points were the most this season for Carolina, which led the NFL with 500. The last time a team scored as many in a conference title game was 1990: Buffalo 51, the Raiders 3 in the AFC.

The scoring started quickly, as it did for the Panthers against the Seahawks. Newton hit four passes for 35 yards on their opening drive and Graham Gano hit from 45 yards for a 3-0 lead.

Criticized for being too conservative against Green Bay, Palmer let it fly from the outset. He just connected too many times with the Panthers.

"I kept digging us in a hole and we just couldn't come out of it," Palmer said.

Ginn's 32-yard punt return set up the Panthers at the Arizona 49. Six plays later, he took a pitch from Newton, headed left and broke a tackle by Justin Bethel. Just as quickly as he was surrounded by red shirts, the swift Ginn emerged to cut across the field into the end zone for a 10-0 lead.

Nearly as swiftly, it was 17-0. Newton fired a dart to Philly Brown. Another botched tackle, this one at the Carolina 47 by Rashad Johnson, left Brown with nothing but unprotected turf.

Arizona finally moved into Carolina territory, only to see Kawann Short sack Palmer and strip the ball.

The Cardinals kept trying, and put together a 79-yard scoring drive on which David Johnson starred after an ignominious start. He was plastered by All-Pro linebacker Thomas Davis for a 6-yard loss on the first play of the series, then came back to gain 25 yards, including a 1-yard TD dive.

Davis, who already had six tackles, left with a broken right forearm during that drive.

"I will do whatever it takes (to play)," he said of the Super Bowl.

Peterson made a huge muff trying to field a punt later in the second period. Jonathan Stewart ran for 17 and 23 yards - more missed tackles by the Arizona defense - and Newton leaped to extend the ball over the goal line from the 1.

He followed with a dab or two, handed the ball to a fan in the end zone, and ran to the sideline to chants of "MVP! MVP!"

There were plenty more of those during the trophy celebration, and fans danced in the stands as the loudspeaker played "Shout."

Palmer was performing like anything but an MVP.

On Arizona's first play after Peterson's muff, Palmer was sacked and fumbled. Newton gave it back when Peterson picked him off and ran 72 yards to the Carolina 23 - and Palmer gave that one back with a weak throw Kurt Coleman intercepted in the end zone.

At one point, the Cardinals had turnovers on three consecutive plays: the muff, Palmer's fumble, and Coleman's first of two picks.

"We're Thieves Avenue," Coleman said.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Share
1st Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Cardinals Panthers
09:30 Graham Gano 45 yd FG 0 3
04:31 Ted Ginn Jr. 22 yd run (Graham Gano kick) 0 10
00:49 Corey Brown 86 yd pass from Cam Newton (Graham Gano kick) 0 17

2nd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Cardinals Panthers
05:44 David Johnson 1 yd run (Chandler Catanzaro kick) 7 17
01:56 Cam Newton 1 yd run (Graham Gano kick) 7 24

3rd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Cardinals Panthers
07:50 Graham Gano 21 yd FG 7 27
02:08 Cam Newton 12 yd run (Graham Gano kick) 7 34

4th Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Cardinals Panthers
14:16 Darren Fells 21 yd pass from Carson Palmer (J.J. Nelson 2pt Rush) 15 34
05:26 Devin Funchess 5 yd pass from Cam Newton (Mike Tolbert 2pt Pass from Cam Newton) 15 42
05:11 Luke Kuechly 22 yd interception return (Graham Gano kick) 15 49

Team Stats
  Arizona Carolina
1st Downs 21 21
Total Yards 287 476
Passing 227 324
Passing Completions/Attempts 23-41 19-28
Yards/Pass 5.2 11.2
Rushing 60 152
Rushing Attempts 16 37
Yards/Rush 3.8 4.1
Turnovers 7 1
Fumbles Lost 3 0
Interceptions Thrown 4 1
Possession 23:21 36:39

Arizona Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Carson Palmer 23 40 235 5.9 1 4
Larry Fitzgerald 0 1 0 0.0 0 0

Carolina Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Cam Newton 19 28 335 12.0 2 1

Arizona Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
David Johnson 15 60 4.0 1 23
Andre Ellington 1 0 0.0 0 0

Carolina Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
Jonathan Stewart 19 83 4.4 0 23
Cam Newton 10 47 4.7 2 14
Ted Ginn Jr. 1 22 22.0 1 22
Mike Tolbert 3 4 1.3 0 3
Derek Anderson 2 -2 -1.0 0 -1
Fozzy Whittaker 2 -2 -1.0 0 0

Arizona Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
David Johnson 9 68 7.6 0 16
Michael Floyd 3 37 12.3 0 15
Darren Fells 2 36 18.0 1 21
Larry Fitzgerald 4 30 7.5 0 13
J.J. Nelson 2 25 12.5 0 15
John Brown 2 23 11.5 0 12
Jaron Brown 1 16 16.0 0 16
Andre Ellington 0 0 0.0 0

Carolina Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
Greg Olsen 6 113 18.8 0 54
Corey Brown 4 113 28.2 1 86
Ted Ginn Jr. 2 52 26.0 0 39
Devin Funchess 2 21 10.5 1 16
Jerricho Cotchery 2 17 8.5 0 12
Mike Tolbert 1 14 14.0 0 14
Jonathan Stewart 2 5 2.5 0 3
Fozzy Whittaker 0 0 0.0 0
Ed Dickson 0 0 0.0 0

Arizona Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Justin Bethel 4 0 0 0
Tony Jefferson 4 6 0 0
Patrick Peterson 4 1 0 0
Deone Bucannon 2 6 0 0
Markus Golden 2 5 0 0
Rashad Johnson 2 2 0 0
Kevin Minter 2 6 0 0
Jerraud Powers 2 1 0 0
Ed Stinson 1 2 1 11
Red Bryant 1 1 0 0
Calais Campbell 1 2 0 0
Chris Clemons 1 0 0 0
Sean Weatherspoon 1 0 0 0
John Brown 0 0 0 0
Drew Butler 0 0 0 0
Alani Fua 0 0 0 0
Rodney Gunter 0 2 0 0
Gabe Martin 0 0 0 0
Kareem Martin 0 2 0 0
Josh Mauro 0 1 0 0
Frostee Rucker 0 5 0 0
Lyle Sendlein 0 0 0 0

Carolina Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Robert McClain 5 1 0 0
Thomas Davis 4 2 0 0
Luke Kuechly 3 5 0 0
Shaq Thompson 3 2 0 0
Kawann Short 2 0 1 1
Kurt Coleman 2 2 0 0
Kyle Love 1 0 1 7
Charles Johnson 1 0 1 0
Kony Ealy 1 2 0 0
Dwan Edwards 1 0 0 0
Cortland Finnegan 1 2 0 0
Roman Harper 1 1 0 0
Star Lotulelei 1 1 0 0
Josh Norman 1 1 0 0
Mario Addison 0 1 0 0
Tre Boston 0 1 0 0
Ryan Delaire 0 1 0 0
Ted Ginn Jr. 0 0 0 0
A.J. Klein 0 2 0 0
Joe Webb 0 0 0 0
Fozzy Whittaker 0 0 0 0
Teddy Williams 0 0 0 0

Arizona Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
Patrick Peterson 1 72 0

Carolina Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
Kurt Coleman 2 0 0
Luke Kuechly 1 22 1
Tre Boston 1 5 0

Arizona Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
J.J. Nelson 2 45 22.5 0 26

Carolina Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
Fozzy Whittaker 1 19 19.0 0 19

Arizona Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
Patrick Peterson 2 2 1.0 0 2

Carolina Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
Ted Ginn Jr. 2 38 19.0 0 32

Arizona Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
No kicking stats.

Carolina Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Graham Gano 2 2 100.0 45

Arizona Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Drew Butler 4 195 52

Carolina Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Brad Nortman 3 119 44