Panthers are on a roll
Carolina Panthers extended their winning streak to four games with a 34-10 win over division rivals Atlanta Falcons.
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Panthers quarterback Cam Newton threw for one and ran in another of his side's four touchdowns, although their defence did concede a first-half touchdown for the first time this season when Newton's opposite number Matt Ryan found tight end Tony Gonzalez on a 17-yard pass with two minutes of the second quarter remaining.
Ryan was picked off three times, including one that was returned 38 yards for a touchdown by Drayton Florence, as the Falcons slipped to 2-6 for the season and remained winless on the road.
Newton threw for one touchdown and ran for another to overcome a shaky start, the defense intercepted Matt Ryan three times and Carolina beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-10 for its fourth straight victory.
Newton entered on quite a streak, completing 77 per cent of his passes with eight touchdowns - six passing and two rushing - and no turnovers in his previous three games.
He had two first half interceptions and wasn't sharp on his deep balls, regularly overthrowing his receivers.
Yet he bounced back to throw for 249 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown pass to tight end Greg Olsen. He also ran for an eight -yard touchdown.
"He got a little carried away early on and tried to make things happen," said Panthers coach Ron Rivera.
"He sailed the ball a little bit because he was a little anxious."
Full-back Mike Tolbert scored his fifth touchdown in the last four games on a 4-yard burst and cornerback Drayton Florence intercepted Ryan and returned it 38 yards for a score to seal the win.
Ryan was 20 of 27 for 219 yards.
The Falcons continued to struggle without Julio Jones and Roddy White. Tony Gonzalez had six catches for 81 yards and a touchdown but the Falcons were held to 78 yards rushing.