December 20, 2016 / 5:56 AM / 2 years ago

Newton-led Panthers roll past Redskins

(The Sports Xchange) - Cam Newton passed for 300 yards and two touchdowns, Jonathan Stewart rushed for 132 yards and the Carolina Panthers defeated the Washington Redskins 26-15 Monday night at FedEx Field.

Dec 19, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) throws the ball as Washington Redskins defensive end Ricky Jean Francois (99) defends in the third quarter at FedEx Field. The Panthers won 26-15. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Newton completed 21 of 37 passes and tight end Greg Olsen had six catches for 85 yards for Carolina, which scored 10 points in the third quarter to go up by 14. Graham Gano kicked four field goals as the Panthers held on for its second straight win.

The loss leaves the Redskins (7-6-1) now on the outside looking in at the playoffs with two games remaining. Carolina (6-8) meanwhile, keeps its very slim playoff hopes alive.

Kirk Cousins passed for 316 yards on 32 of 47 passing with one interception. DeSean Jackson caught seven passes for 111 yards. The Redskins were held to 29 yards rushing.

The Panthers have won five straight versus Washington, which fell to 2-16 in Monday night games at FedEx Field.

Redskins cornerback Josh Norman played his first game against his former team, who let him leave after four seasons when they rescinded his franchise tag in the spring. Norman nearly had an interception when he broke up a third-quarter Newton pass in the end zone.

After Gano missed a 38-yard field-goal attempt with 5:37 left and Carolina up 23-12, Cousins and Jackson connected twice — once on an incomplete call that was reversed after a challenge — and Dustin Hopkins’ 34-yard field goal pulled Washington within eight points with 3:44 remaining.

On the next possession, Stewart ripped off a 34-yard gain on first down and Gano’s 41-yarder with 1:12 left sealed the win for the Panthers, who didn’t have a turnover.

Washington’s Will Blackmon fielded the second-half kickoff three yards deep and brought it out, but only to the 15. On the next play, Panthers defensive end Wes Horton hit Cousins, recovered the ensuing fumble and was brought down at the 1. Newton hit Mike Tolbert and it was 20-3 while fans were still returning to their seats.

Gano’s 23-yarder with 5:07 left in the third quarter increased the lead to 23-9.

Thanks in part to a 17-yard sideline catch by Jackson that was originally ruled incomplete before the Redskins challenged it, Washington drove to the Carolina 10. On the last play of the quarter, running back Rob Kelly lost two yards and tight end Jordan Reed was ejected for punching a Carolina player after the play.

Pushed back 15 yards, the Redskins ultimately settled for a field goal, cutting the deficit to 23-12 with 14:08 left.

The teams traded field goals early and Carolina took a 10-3 lead after going 84 yards in eight plays. Newton capped the drive when he found Ted Ginn, Jr. wide open in the end zone from 30 yards out with 1:50 remaining in the first quarter.

Three plays from scrimmage later, Carolina safety Kurt Coleman intercepted Cousins and returned it 27 yards to the Redskins 24. The Panthers drove inside the five, but settled for a 23-yard Gano field goal to make it 13-3 early in the second quarter.

A Newton penalty cost the Panthers a chance for three more. He slid after picking up a yard on third-and-9 at the Redskins 27, and Trent Murphy dove at Newton and appeared to hit his head. Murphy wasn’t flagged, but Newton lobbed the ball at him and got a 15-yard taunting penalty that pushed Carolina out of field-goal range.

Cousins made the Panthers pay, leading a seven play, 89-yard drive. Kelly caught passes of 17 and 22 yards, then bulled in from the 5-yard line with 3:43 left in the second quarter. Dustin Hopkins missed the extra point and Washington trailed 13-9.

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