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              === Panthers top Raiders for third straight win ===
 
 Charlotte,  NC (Sports  Network)  - Cam  Newton  threw for  170  yards with  a
 touchdown and also ran for a score to lead the Carolina Panthers to a 17-6 win
 over the Oakland Raiders.
 
 Steve Smith had four catches for 45 yards and a score and Greg Olsen hauled in
 six  passes for  53 yards for the  Panthers (6-9), who have won three straight
 and  four of  their last five.  Rookie linebacker  Luke Kuechly  had nine solo
 tackles and an interception that led to a score in the triumph.
 
 "It was a momentum builder to get wins in back-to-back games and then to add a
 third one," Kuechly said. "It is a good feeling. We've been playing good in
 situations all year, and now we are able to capitalize on it."
 
 Matt  Leinart replaced  an  injured Carson  Palmer for  Oakland  in the  first
 quarter  and completed  16-of-32 passes  for  115 yards with an  interception.
 Terrelle  Pryor also  made a  limited appearance  for the  Raiders (4-11).  He
 caught one pass for 22 yards, rushed for two yards and completed a 5-yard pass
 in Oakland's seventh loss in eight games.
 
 "I'm disappointed, we have to be able to run the football better," said
 Raiders head coach Dennis Allen. "They dominated the line of scrimmage in this
 particular game and we struggled to run it. We have to do a better job running
 the football."
 
 The  game featured  a pair of former Heisman Trophy winners at quarterback and
 it remained that way even after Palmer, the 2002 recipient, was knocked out of
 the  contest  by a  blindside hit  from Carolina's Greg  Hardy. Leinart, a USC
 product  like Palmer,  won college football's most prized award in 2004, while
 Newton received the honor in 2010 while leading Auburn to a national title.
 
 Newton  got the better  of the play early, connecting with Smith for a 23-yard
 touchdown  to give Carolina  a 7-0 lead. Newton rolled to his right and lofted
 it  up  to Smith, who made  a diving grab in  the back right corner of the end
 zone.
 
 Palmer left the contest on the next series. He had completed each of his three
 passes for 31 yards before exiting.
 
 After  a  trade of punts, Sebastian  Janikowski's 21-yard field goal capped an
 11-play,  73-yard  trek to pull the  Raiders within 7-3. Earlier in the drive,
 Leinart  found Derek Hagan for a 19-yard gain on 3rd-and-12 to get the ball to
 the Carolina 23.
 
 Graham Gano missed a field goal for Carolina with 1:41 left in the first half,
 but  Leinart's pass  on  the  ensuing Raiders  possession  was intercepted  by
 Kuechly  and returned  25 yards to the  Oakland 29. A 22-yard pass to DeAngelo
 Williams  on first down  set up a 3-yard Newton touchdown run on third down to
 put the Panthers up 14-3 just 17 seconds before the intermission.
 
 Newton's  pass on the final play of the third quarter was intercepted by Miles
 Burris  and returned to the Panthers' 18. An unnecessary roughness penalty put
 the ball on the eight and Pryor's 5-yard pass gave the Raiders the ball at the
 three.  Darren  McFadden scored  on  the  next  play,  but the  touchdown  was
 nullified  following a holding penalty on Steve Wisniewski. Leinart's next two
 passes  fell  incomplete and  Oakland  was  forced  to  settle for  a  31-yard
 Janikowski field goal.
 
 Gano's  51-yard  kick with 2:46  left put the Panthers  up 17-6 and sealed the
 win.
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 The  Panthers  outgained Oakland, 271-189  ... Newton  led the team in rushing
 with  60  yards on 12  carries ... Although Palmer  was knocked out, he joined
 Rich  Gannon (4,689  in  2002) as  only Oakland  quarterbacks  to reach  4,000
 passing yards in a season. Palmer has 4,016 yards this season.
 
 12/23 18:46:44 ET