Cam Newton threw three touchdown passes and ran for another as the Carolina Panthers sacked the Giants’ Eli Manning seven times to win 38-0 on Sunday, handing Tom Coughlin his worst defeat as coach of the New York team.
It was the largest margin of victory in the Panthers’ history.
The Panthers (1-2) allowed Newton to run out of the read option, which helped open up an offense that had been stagnant this season. Newton had 223 yards passing and threw two touchdown passes to Brandon LaFell and one to Ted Ginn Jr. He ran for 45 yards and his first touchdown of the season.
In San Francisco, Andrew Luck threw for 164 yards and ran for a six-yard touchdown while facing college coach Jim Harbaugh for the first time as the Indianapolis Colts defeated the 49ers 27-7.
Trent Richardson scored a one-yard touchdown on his first carry in his Colts debut after being acquired on Wednesday last week from the Browns. He was drafted two spots behind Luck at No. 3 last year.
Ahmad Bradshaw added a one-yard touchdown run in the final minutes and Adam Vinatieri kicked a pair of field goals before missing a 51-yarder early in the fourth.
Chicago’s defense forced five turnovers and scored twice as the Bears defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 40-23 to remain unbeaten.
Major Wright returned an interception 38 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, and Julius Peppers picked up Ben Roethlisberger’s fumble and raced 42 yards for a score in the fourth quarter as the Bears (3-0) held off a late rally.
Roethlisberger completed 26 of 41 passes for 406 yards and threw two touchdowns to Antonio Brown.
Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes to Kenbrell Thompkins to lead the New England Patriots to a one-sided 23-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, while Terence Newman returned a fumble 58 yards for a touchdown with three minutes and 47 seconds left to put the Cincinnati Bengals past the Green Bay Packers 34-30.
The New Orleans Saints downed the Arizona Cardinals 31-7 as Drew Brees passed for three scores and scrambled for the Saints’ first touchdown rushing of the season.
In Arlington, Texas, DeMarco Murray ran for 175 yards and a touchdown and Tony Romo threw for three scores in the Dallas Cowboys’ 31-7 rout of the St Louis Rams.
Baltimore’s Daryl Smith had a 37-yard interception return for a touchdown and Tandon Doss took a punt 82 yards for another score as the Ravens smothered the Houston Texans’ high-powered offense in a 30-9 win.
Detroit’s Matthew Stafford completed 25 of 42 passes for 385 yards with two touchdowns and one interception as the Lions beat the Washington Redskins, while the Tennessee Titans ended a 20-year-long losing streak with a 20-17 win over the Chargers.
In other games, the Cleveland Browns defeated the Minnesota Vikings 31-27, the Seattle Seahawks downed the Jacksonville Jaguars 45-17, the Miami Dolphins were 27-23 winners over the Atlanta Falcons and the New York Jets beat the Buffalo Bills 27-20.