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10/06/2013 8:44 PM EDT
Washington, Arizona defense beat Carolina 22-6
ARIZONA 22, CAROLINA 6

By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- The return of Daryl Washington has made a
good Arizona defense even better.

Just ask Cam Newton.

Washington had two of Arizona's seven sacks of Newton and one of
its three interceptions in the Cardinals' 22-6 victory over the
Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

"He was the same old D-Wash," teammate Patrick Peterson said,
"running sideline to sideline."

Washington was back after serving a four-game suspension for
violating the league's substance abuse policy.

"It feels good, especially with a win at home," he said. "My
teammates and this organization are so supportive of me that it
makes it easy for me to go out and do what I do."

There were plenty of other defensive playmakers for the
Cardinals, who fell behind 6-3 at halftime but dominated the
second half.

Calais Campbell had two sacks, one for Arizona's first
regular-season safety in nine years, the other forcing a
game-clinching fumble. Karlos Dansby also had two sacks and an
interception. Peterson also had an interception.

"That's the beauty of it," Campbell said. "When you have so many
guys that are as talented as we have, you've got to pick your
poison. You can try to take one of us out of the game, somebody
else is going to eat."

Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer called his team's defensive
performance "phenomenal, lights out, and not surprising
whatsoever."

Carolina (1-3), playing for the first time since a 38-0 victory
over the New York Giants two weeks ago, managed only Graham
Gano's field goals from 22 and 51 yards.

"It is as disappointing as disappointing gets," Panthers safety
Mike Mitchell said.

The day just got worse and worse for Newton, returning to the
site of his BCS championship performance for Auburn and his
impressive NFL debut.

"I have to do a better job of protecting the football," he said.
"We had our opportunities in the red zone multiple times and we
just couldn't seem to get it together. We are not going to sob
or get beside ourselves or go into a shell. We are going to keep
fighting. That is what this team is full of."

Palmer threw a touchdown pass, but was intercepted three times
as Arizona's offense struggled again, as it did most of last
week in a 13-10 win at Tampa Bay.

"You can call them ugly wins or any kind of wins you want," said
Cardinals first-year coach Bruce Arians, who turned 61 on
Thursday. "As long as they're wins, I love them."

Jay Feely, who had a 42-yard field goal for Arizona's only
points of the first half, kicked a 50-yarder to make it 15-6
with 3:38 to play.

The Cardinals clinched it when Campbell sacked Newton and the
ball popped free. Antoine Cason picked it up and ran 40 yards to
the Carolina 9.

Palmer connected with Jim Dray for a 7-yard score, the big tight
end's first career touchdown, to make it 22-6 with 2:23
remaining.

The Panthers had four dropped passes, two of them by the
normally reliable Steve Smith, and were penalized nine times for
79 yards.

One of Smith's drops would have been a touchdown. Their running
game, ranked third in the NFL coming in, managed just 95 yards,
only 21 in the second half.

"We have to protect the quarterback better and we have to make
better decisions as far as the quarterback, too," Carolina coach
Ron Rivera said. "There are a lot of things we have to correct
and a lot of blame to go around for everybody."

Andre Ellington's 26-yard run set up the Cardinals' first
touchdown. Rashard Mendenhall scored from the 1 to put Arizona
ahead for the first time 10-6 with 5:48 left in the third
quarter.

After the kickoff, a taunting penalty on Jordan Senn and an
offensive pass interference call on Smith pushed Carolina to its
5-yard line. Newton faded into the end zone and was sacked by
Campbell, and the Cardinals led 12-6 with 5:28 to go in the
third.

After the ensuing free kick, Arizona had it at the Carolina 48
when Luke Kuechly intercepted Palmer and returned it 30 yards to
the Cardinals 29.

The Panthers moved to the 5, where on third-and-3, Washington
picked off Newton's pass and rambled 41 yards to midfield.

Newton was 14 for 21 for 215 yards in the first half, but
couldn't get the Panthers in the end zone.

Gano's 51-yard field goal as the half ended put Carolina up 6-3.

Peterson intercepted Newton's pass intended for Smith at the
Cardinals 1-yard line and scrambled 43 yards to the 44.

Completions to Larry Fitzgerald and Ellington moved Arizona to
the Panthers 23. But Palmer overthrew Fitzgerald over the
middle, and Mitchell intercepted it in the end zone with 34
seconds left in the half.

That was plenty of time for the Panthers, who got a 20-yard run
by fullback Mike Tolbert and a pair of completions by Newton.
After a holding penalty negated Graham's 41-yard field goal, he
nailed the 51-yarder to put the Panthers up by three at the
break.

Notes: The Panthers lost starting left guard Amini Silatolu with
a knee injury in the third quarter. ... Washington had one other
game with a sack and interception, against Carolina in the 2011
season opener.

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AP NFL website www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Bob Baum at www.twitter.com/Thebaumerphx

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