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Newton helps Panthers top Falcons

Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - It's been a struggle for Cam Newton this season, but the sophomore signal caller had a day reminiscent of his record- setting rookie campaign.

Newton threw two touchdown passes and broke off a 72-yard TD scamper in the Carolina Panthers' 30-20 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

Newton was 23-of-35 for 287 yards and added 116 yards rushing on nine carries for the Panthers (4-9), who have won two of their last three contests.

Steve Smith hauled in seven balls for 109 yards in the triumph.

The Falcons (11-2), meanwhile, will have to wait at least another week to clinch a first-round playoff bye.

Matt Ryan tallied 302 of his 342 yards in the second half and finished 34- of-49 with two scores and an interception for Atlanta, which had its three- game winning streak snapped.

Roddy White caught nine passes for 117 yards and a touchdown in the setback.

12/09 16:15:51 ET

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