Panthers lead Dolphins 3-0 after first quarter

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Newton took it as a challenge when the Carolina Panthers defense vaulted to the league's No. 1 ranking. The teams combined for three points, 106 yards, three penalties and three punts in the first quarter.

- Panthers fans swarmed uptown on Monday, ahead of the 8:30 p.m. game against the Miami Dolphins. Newton's tallied 14 total touchdowns so far this season.

Miami fell to Oakland last week and now has dropped its last two contests after opening the season 4-2.

The loss was the third consecutive for the Dolphins (4-5), all coming in prime time on national TV, and drummed up a lot of issues Miami thought it had under control. Newton had the biggest run of the night, busting off a 69-yard run immediately after the Dolphins scored on a 66-yard Kenyan Drake run.

Newton's four touchdown passes were to three different receivers, including a pair to Devin Funchess.

Then came the game-clincher, a 12-yard dash by running back Cameron Artis-Payne with 7:15 remaining in the third quarter that gave the Panthers a 31-7 lead.

Miami have the NFL's worst offense, with the third-worst ground game.

Carolina capitalized on the turnover a short time later, when quarterback Cam Newton found tight end Ed Dickson for a seven-yard touchdown. Carolina racked up 548 yards of total offense, besting their season average by over 230 yards.

The game turned with 41 seconds left in the first half, when Luke Kuechly intercepted Jay Cutler with Carolina leading 10-7.

McCaffrey helped build the lead to 10-0 with a nifty move on a 4-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to cap a 12-play, 85-yard drive that consumed nearly 6 1/2 minutes.

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