CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy promised "payback" and "punishment" for the Atlanta Falcons last week, and he and his Carolina teammates delivered on Sunday.
Despite playing without four starters and having 13 players on injured reserve, the Panthers dominated the NFC South champions as Cam Newton threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns and scored on a 72-yard run in a 30-20 victory.
Newton piled up a career-high 116 yards on the ground and the Panthers racked up 475 total yards to avenge an early-season loss with a dominating performance against their Interstate-85 rivals.
Carolina's defense was superb through 2 quarters building a 23-0 lead and holding a 356-86 edge in total yards to snap a five-game losing streak against the Falcons.
Carolina (4-9) came in with little to play for except to gain a measure of revenge on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, whom they felt disrespected them after Atlanta's 30-28 come-from-behind win earli...