The Carolina Panthers won their first playoff game since the 2005 season as they defeated the Arizona Cardinals, 27-16.
Ted Ginn fumble – (Video) Cardinals wide receiver fumbles kick return
Marion Grice touchdown – (Video) Cardinals running back breaks plane for goal-line touchdown run
Brenton Bersin fumble – (Video) Carolina Panthers wide receiver fumbles punt return
The Carolina Panthers advanced to the NFC Divisional Round by defeating the Arizona Cardinals, 27-16, in Saturday’s NFC Wild Card game.
Despite holding a 7-8-1 regular season record, the Panthers proved that they are not ready to go out quietly. They took a 10-0 lead at the beginning before the Cardinals took a 14-10 lead following a muffed punt return by the Panthers.
After halftime, the Panthers scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to take a 27-14 lead. Turnovers by the Cardinals ultimately decided the result of the game although each team committed three.
The Panthers took a 20-14 lead after Cardinals wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. fumbled a kick return, which led to a 39-yard touchdown catch by running back Fozzy Whitaker. Their second touchdown of the period came after an interception by Cardinals quarterback Ryan Lindley.
Lindley struggled throughout the day with 82 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions on 16-of-28 passing. Running back Kerwynn Williams was held to 23 yards on 10 carries.
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton had an overall solid showing in his first career playoff win with 198 passing yards and two touchdowns with an interception on 18-of-32 passing, and running back Jonathan Stewart shined with 123 rushing yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.
The defense also dominated throughout with two interceptions and four sacks, led by defensive end Charles Johnson’s two. Linebacker Luke Kuechly also made an impact throughout, demonstrating why he won last year’s Defensive Player of the Year award.