CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Staring at a possible three-game losing streak, the Carolina Panthers needed a spark.
Carolina recaptured sole possession of first place in the NFC South.
"The no-huddle offense has been our edge," said Newton, who threw for 255 yards. "It was not panic time, because we have been in these situations before."
The momentum turned immediately.
"It was huge," said Olsen, who spent four years with the Bears. "We got in the huddle and said, 'That's our break.' We were waiting for something to bounce our way and that was it. We went right down and bang, bang. ... Cam got in an awesome groove and from that point on he was on fire."
From there, Carolina's defense took over. The Panthers forced three turnovers on Chicago's last three possessions.
It was a big step for Carolina's defense, which allowed 75 points and 908 yards the past two weeks in blowout losses to Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
"It was a matter of time before we came back," Short said.
For the Bears it was a distressing finish considering they appeared to be in control in the first half.
Cutler was 28 of 36 for 289 yards with two TDs, but turned the ball over three times for the Bears (2-3). Forte had 61 yards rushing and 105 yards receiving and a touchdown before his costly fumble.
"There were many opportunities for us to put this one away offensively," Cutler said. "We put our defense in a bad place, and I thought they played real well, given the circumstances and field position we put them in. A lot of that is on me."
It was also a big day for Newton, who was comfortable running the no-huddle set - just as he has most of the season.
"He's pretty good at it," Olsen said. "It's been good for us this year. Sometimes certain situations dictate that you can't stay in it, but when we've done it we've been pretty successful. When we need a spark we can go to it. And it seems like it does spark us."
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press