Carolina cruises behind defense
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Cam Newton wasn't flawless. He didn't need to be.
Newton threw for one touchdown and ran for one to overcome a shaky start and the Panthers intercepted Atlanta's Matt Ryan three times for their fourth straight victory.
Carolina offensive tackle Jordan Gross was more impressed with Newton than in the previous three games in which the third-year quarterback was nearly perfect.
"There were times today where he could have gotten rattled," Gross said. "He took some shots and had some turnovers, but he didn't (get rattled). He kept on swinging."
Newton had two first-half interceptions but bounced back to throw for 249 yards, but he called his play "unacceptable."
"I didn't put my best foot forward in the first half," he said.
Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert scored his fifth touchdown in the past four games.