By Steve Reed, AP Sports Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Cam Newton threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns and scored on a 72-yard run as the Carolina Panthers defeated the Atlanta Falcons 30-20 on Sunday.
Newton piled up a career-high 116 yards on the ground as the Panthers racked up 475 total yards to avenge an early-season loss with a dominating performance against the NFC South champion Falcons.
Carolina (4-9) came in with little to play for except to gain a measure of revenge on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, whom they felt disrespected them after Atlanta's 30-28 come-from-behind win earlier this season at the Georgia Dome.
Ryan threw for 342 yards and two scores and had a costly fourth-quarter interception.
The Panthers dominated the Falcons through 2 1/2 quarters, opening a 23-0 lead and holding a 356-86 edge in total yards to snap a five-game losing streak against the Falcons.
Copyright 2012 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.