Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton
Jan 3, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals in the 2014 NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Bank of America Stadium. Reuters

Cam Newton had two touchdowns in the third quarter to lead the Carolina Panthers past the Arizona Cardinals winning their National Football League (NFL) wild card game, 27-16 on Saturday. The star quarterback ended up with 198 yards on 18-of-32 completions while running back Jonathan Stewart ran for 123 yards on 24 carries for the Panthers, which is set to meet the Seattle Seahawks or the Green Bay Packers in the NFC divisional round playoffs.

Carolina’s defence was all over the Cardinals in this wild card match-up as the Panthers limited Arizona to just 78 total yards, the lowest in league history in any postseason game. Carolina RBs Fozzy Whittaker (43 total yards) and Mike Tolbert each scored on receptions for the Panthers, which has won their first match-up against Arizona in three games since 2011.

While he ran the offence well, Newton credited his team’s defence that was key all game long. In a total of 47 plays for Arizona, the Cardinals only produced 51 passing yards on 16-of-28 completions and 27 rushing yards and 15 carries.

"When those guys play like that, it makes it easier on us on our part," Newton said in the postgame interview on "Those guys did everything, turnovers, they stopped them. That is championship football right there and we've got to do our part offensively to put points up on the board."

Carolina threatened to breakaway after a 10-0 first quarter but a key turnover early in the second allowed Arizona to get back in the game. The Cardinals took advantage of the error and scored two touchdowns in the second to grab a 14-10 lead before Carolina hit a field goal for a 14-13 halftime score in favour of the visitors. The home team went back to work after the break scoring two TD in the third quarter to once again pull away from the Cardinals. The Panthers won four straight to qualify for the NFL postseason and has stretched the winning streak to five.

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