Panthers overcome Cardinals with quick scores

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 03, 2015 7:54 PM

(Reuters) - The Carolina Panthers scored twice in less than two minutes on Cam Newton touchdown passes in the third quarter and defeated the Arizona Cardinals 27-16 in an error-ridden NFC wildcard playoff game on Saturday.

The Panthers overcame a 14-13 Arizona lead when Carolina quarterback Newton connected with Fozzy Whittaker on a 39-yard scoring play and then found Mike Tolbert for a one-yard touchdown after a Cardinals fumble on a kickoff return gave Carolina the ball at the Arizona 3.

The victory was the fifth straight for the Panthers (8-8-1), who made the playoffs despite a losing record as the NFC South champions. They will play at either the Seattle Seahawks or Green Bay Packers in the divisional round next weekend.

Arizona (11-6), which has struggled after having its top two quarterbacks injured, lost its third consecutive game.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina)