Newton passed for three touchdowns, appeared to incite a scuffle with frustrated New Orleans after he went over the pile for another score, and Carolina ended a six-game skid with a 41-10 rout of the Saints on Sunday.
"Victory is always a sweet feeling, but we can't be complacent about this," Newton said. "We were doing the things that we are supposed to do."
Newton's jawing and "Superman" celebration after his 2-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter drew a shove from linebacker Curtis Lofton, igniting a scrum that burst through a closed gate behind the goal post and into a tunnel.
Newton chalked up the extracurricular roughness to nothing more than "a lot of testosterone on that field at one time."
"It was taunting," Lofton said. "I saw it as straight disrespect and I did what I thought I had to do."
Williams expected to be flagged but not ejected.
"I feel like I was defending myself. Guys were swinging at me and pushing me and I was trying to help my guy out," Williams said. "I'm just glad that we got the win. Me being ejected didn't have anything to do with that, but it feels great to give ourselves another opportunity to still be in" the NFC South race.
New Orleans (5-8) lost its fourth straight home game and dropped a half-game behind Atlanta.
"We've got to look closely at everything - preparation, who we're asking to do it," Payton said. "We're not that good. That's painfully obvious."
The Panthers, who entered the game with a league-low 30 first-quarter points all season, scored 17 points inside the first nine minutes.
Brees was 29 of 49 for 235 yards and one late TD to tight end Ben Watson. Afterward, Brees said the Saints haven't responded well to adversity well this season.
"We need to be more professional," Brees said. "Certainly, a loss like that is embarrassing. That's not what we're about."
Newton was 21 of 33 for 226 yards, was not sacked and was not intercepted. Newton also rushed for 83 yards, but downplayed the part he played in those gains, saying the Saints left him wide open rushing lanes.
"I feel as if anybody could have run it," Newton said. "There were no moves I made. I wasn't touched until I got in the secondary."
The Panthers' point total was their highest of the season, surpassing the 37 they scored in an overtime tie at Cincinnati.
Carolina's 497 total yards also were easily a season high, albeit against a Saints defense that entered the game ranked second-to-last in the NFL.
Carolina scored on its opening possession for only the second time all season, driving 80 yards on seven plays, capped by Benjamin's touchdown.
When Whittaker turned a screen pass into a touchdown to make it 38-3 with a little more than five minutes left in the third quarter, much of the Superdome emptied out.