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Timely Defense, Newton Execution Elevates Panthers over Houston 28-13

Cam Newton threw two touchdown passes, DeAngelo Williams ran for a score and the Carolina Panthers ended Houston’s seven-game winning streak with a 28-13 win over the Texans on Sunday.

Newton completed 13 of 23 passes for 149 yards, outplaying opposing rookie quarterback T.J. Yates.

The Panthers (5-9) built a 21-0 halftime lead, then ended Houston’s second-half rally when linebacker James Anderson intercepted Yates in the end zone midway through the fourth quarter.

The defense was consistent throughout the afternoon, forcing an Arian Foster fumble on the second snap of the game, leading to a Newton 26-yard touchdown pass to Steve Smith less than three minutes into the game.

The rookie sensation shrugged off two early sacks to make pinpoint passes to Smith and Greg Olsen for big gains then found Jeremy Shockey for his second scoring toss, a 9-yard scoring strike with 12:19 left in the first half to put the Panthers ahead 14-0.

With the Texans mounting a potential comeback closing the gap to 21-13 following a Foster TD run, the Heisman Trophy winner from Auburn quieted the crowd with a 26-yard pass to Shockey early in the fourth quarter.

Then, Williams sprinted 24 yards through a gaping hole on the next snap to put Carolina in front for good, 28-13.

After the pivotal score, the Texans were looking for a quick answer, driving inside the Panthers 10 in less than 2 minutes. Anderson then picked off Yates in the end zone to seal the deal for the Cats.

It took awhile, but the Panthers finally put together a well-executed effort from start to finish against a contending club.

Cam on the Ground: Newton also carried the rock seven times for 55 yards.

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