|NASCAR series champion Tony Stewart waves to fans during the second quarter of an NFL football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Carolina Panthers in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011. Stewart is a native of Columbus, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)|
Newton, Panthers keep Colts winless, 27-19
INDIANAPOLIS—Carolina finally found a venue where it could win on the road -- Indianapolis.
Cam Newton threw for 208 yards and ran for one touchdown Sunday, while DeAngelo Williams scored twice to help the Panthers hold off the winless Colts 27-19 for their first road victory in nearly two years. Carolina had lost 12 consecutive road games since beating the Giants in New York on Dec. 27, 2009.
Jonathan Stewart ran 10 times for 70 yards, while Williams finished with 15 carries for 69 yards. Newton ran nine times for 53 yards.
The Panthers (3-8) never trailed, but they couldn't put away Indianapolis until the final minute.
Carolina broke a 10-10 halftime tie with a nifty 25-yard TD run from Williams, who sidestepped one defender in the middle of the field, then cut right and outran the Colts defense for the score.
After Indy closed to 17-13 on a 31-yard field goal from Adam Vinatieri, Williams scored on a 2-yard run early in the fourth quarter.
But the feisty Colts rallied behind oft-criticized quarterback Curtis Painter. He found Reggie Wayne over the middle, and the receiver slipped a tackle, turned left and sprinted into the end zone for a 56-yard TD, his longest pass play of the season. Austin Collie couldn't haul in Painter's 2-point conversion pass, making the score 24-19.
Carolina followed that with an 81-yard kickoff return by Kealoha Pilares that led to a 41-yard field goal and appeared to have the game wrapped up when Chris Gamble picked off Painter's underthrown ball in the end zone, right in front of Pierre Garcon.
Instead, the Colts defense forced a punt, and Painter converted on fourth-and-5 to get Indianapolis back inside the Carolina 10 with a little more than a minute left. But two plays later, Collie couldn't hang onto Painter's pass, and Sherrod Martin snagged it out of the air and toe-tapped the end line for an interception that finally sealed it.
Carolina built an early 10-0 lead only to see the Colts tie the score on Vinatieri's field goal with 1:46 left in the half. Painter was 2 of 6 in the first half but still set up Vinatieri for a 43-yard kick.
Wayne caught five passes for 122 yards, and Donald Brown ran 14 times for 80 yards for the Colts, who have lost six home games in a season for the sixth time since moving to Indy in 1984.
Newton was 20 of 27 through the air.
Painter was 15 of 29 for 226 yards with one TD and the two interceptions.