Panthers' D leads way as Carolina rolls Falcons

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Cam Newton overcame a shaky start, throwing for one touchdown and running for another as the Carolina Panthers beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-10 Sunday for their fourth straight victory.

The Panthers' defense picked off Matt Ryan three times and cornerback Drayton Florence returned an interception 38 yards for a touchdown to help hand the Falcons their fifth loss in six games.

Newton threw for 249 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown pass to tight end Greg Olsen. He also ran for an 8-yard touchdown. Fullback Mike Tolbert scored his fifth touchdown in the last four games on a 4-yard burst.

Ryan was 20 of 27 for 219 yards.

The Falcons continued to struggle without Julio Jones and Roddy White. Tony Gonzalez had six catches for 81 yards and a touchdown for the Falcons.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

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