Carolina quarterback Cam Newton threw a career-high five touchdown passes to five different receivers in the Carolina Panthers’ 44-16 win over Washington’s NFL team on Nov. 22 in Charlotte, N.C.
Washington Redskins’ Kirk Cousins (8) looks to pass against the Carolina Panthers in the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)
Despite a first quarter highlighted by big plays, Washington was troubled by turnovers, penalties and the inability to move the ball downfield.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins overthrew a wide open DeSean Jackson, abruptly ending Washington’s first offensive drive with an interception. Carolina took advantage of the turnover with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Newton to running back Jonathan Stewart, giving the Panthers a 7-0 lead.
On Washington’s second drive, however, Cousins wouldn’t miss Jackson again. He bounced back to connect with the wide receiver on a 56-yard touchdown to tie the game.
Newton responded with his second short touchdown pass, this time connecting with fullback Mike Tolbert for a 3-yard score. Despite a sack by linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, missed tackles plagued Washington’s defense on the 13-play, 78-yard drive.
Washington Redskins’ Andre Roberts (12) runs for a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers in the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)
Washington’s No. 2 wide receiver Andre Roberts answered with an explosive play of his own. Roberts received a kickoff at the 1-yard line, and sprinted it back 99 yards for the touchdown to tie the game at 14.
In the second quarter, Washington cornerback Chris Culliver almost had a pick-six after he intercepted Newton’s pass intended for tight end Greg Olsen. However, officials nullified the touchdown due to a controversial penalty on Culliver for helmet-to-helmet contact. About two minutes later, Carolina wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. caught a short pass in the end zone to give the Panthers a 21-14 lead.
Turnovers killed Washington on its next two possessions, as the team made a series of costly mistakes. First, rookie running back Matt Jones—who shined last week with a 78-yard touchdown—had his fourth fumble of the season. Then, the Panthers sacked Cousins and recovered the fumble, setting up kicker Graham Gano for a 42-yard field goal to end the half.
Washington started the third quarter with another sack and fumble by Cousins. Once again, Carolina capitalized on the turnover as Newton threw his fifth touchdown pass of the afternoon to extend the lead to 24 points.
Washington Redskins’ Pierre Garcon (88) is hit by Carolina Panthers’ Colin Jones (42) in the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)
Carolina added two more field goals and surrendered an intentional safety in the final seconds to defeat Washington, 44-16. Washington was never close to launching a comeback in the second half, and Carolina extended its undefeated record to 10-0.
Cousins finished 22-of-30 for 207 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He was also sacked five times in the loss.
Newton completed 21-of-34 passes for 246 yards and five touchdowns. Stewart finished with 21 carries for 102 yards.
Next – Washington’s NFL team faces the New York Giants at FedEx Field on Nov. 29.