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Dublin: 8 °C Wednesday 22 January, 2020

The Carolina Panthers cruise to Super Bowl 50 with easy win over the Cardinals

Cam Newton and company ran away the NFC Championship Game.

Ted Ginn Jr scores the game's first touchdown as Cam Newton watches on.
Ted Ginn Jr scores the game's first touchdown as Cam Newton watches on.
Image: Mike McCarn

Arizona Cardinals 15 @ Carolina Panthers 49

THE CAROLINA PANTHERS are just sixty minutes away from their first ever Super Bowl win after a dominant win over the number two ranked Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship game in the early hours of Monday morning.

After an early field goal gave the Panthers a 3-0 lead, Ted Ginn Jr was the first player to find the endzone on a well-worked 22-yard reverse that showcased the many different threats of the Carolina ground game.

On their next possession, Newton took advantage of brilliant protection from his offensive line to hit Corey Brown on an 86-yard touchdown pass to make it 17-0 before the end of the first quarter:

The Cardinals finally made their mark on the scoreboard with a 10-play, 79-yard, drive finished off by running back David Johnson with just over five minutes remaining in the first quarter to cut the gap to 17-7.

However, after forcing a second-successive three-and-out from the Panthers, any hope of momentum swinging in Arizona’s favour faltered when Patrick Peterson fumbled this punt return to give Carolina great field position:

The Panthers took full advantage, Cam Newton calling his own number for a 1-yard touchdown run to make it 24-7 with less than two minutes left in the first half.

The first half ended in bizarre circumstances with, first, Carson Palmer fumbling and turning the ball over to the Panthers.

On the next play though, Newton threw the ball straight to Peterson who returned the interception to put his team in scoring range.

However, Palmer turned the ball over for the second time in as many plays, his interception in the endzone ensuring the sides went into half-time at 24-7.

While the Cardinals drew another blank in the third quarter, the home side scored twice more. First a Graham Gano field goal and then a 12-yard Newton run for his second rushing score of the day and a 34-7 lead.

Trailing by 27, the Cardinals scored early in the fourth quarter through their tight end Darren Fells and, following a successful 2-point conversion, it was a 19-point game with 14 minutes to play.

However, yet another Palmer interception — this time Kurt Coleman with the pick — gave the ball back to Carolina and the score was soon 42-15 when Newton hit Devin Funchess for a five-yard touchdown before Luke Keuchly’s pick-six two plays later made it 49-15.

On February 7, the Panthers will take on the Denver Broncos at Super Bowl 50. They open as 3.5 point favourites. Few would back against them on this form.


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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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