CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Nick Goings revived the Carolina
Panthers' running game -- for a half, anyway.
Goings ran for 121 yards and three first-half scores and the
Panthers jumped to a 28-point halftime lead in a 35-10 win against
the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
Muhsin Muhammad added two TD catches, the first with just 2
seconds left before the break, for the Panthers (3-7), who needed
little more than a dominant first half to win their first home game
of the season and their second straight game.
Larry Fitzgerald had a touchdown catch for the Cardinals (4-6),
who couldn't overcome a first half of turnovers and penalties.
The Panthers reached the Super Bowl last season with a stingy
defense and a strong running game. But injuries have decimated
Carolina's backfield, where Stephen Davis, DeShaun Foster and Rod
Smart are all out for the season.
Joey Harris, who started the season on the practice squad,
became the fourth running back on injured reserve this week after
suffering a pulled hamstring.
That left Goings to carry the load against the Cardinals. He
came in with just 35 carries this year and had not scored a
touchdown rushing in the past three seasons, but didn't waste any
time getting the Panthers' offense moving.
His first carry went for 24 yards, sparking a 96-yard scoring
drive that ended with his 2-yard touchdown midway through the first
On Carolina's next possession, Goings got to the outside and
sprinted down the left sideline for a 57-yard score and a 14-0
lead. He scored his third touchdown by squeezing through the line
for a 1-yard run late in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals looked bad from the start.
First-year coach Dennis Green benched quarterback Josh McCown,
who started all nine games for Arizona. The move backfired as Shaun
King struggled against the Panthers' defense throughout the half.
King went 10-for-21 for 112 yards before the break with two
interceptions, with Colin Branch returning the second one 76 yards
to set up Goings' 1-yard score.
King finished with 343 yards passing, most of it coming with the
Panthers leading comfortably in the second half.
The Cardinals also did plenty to hurt themselves. They had 11
penalties for 100 yards in the half, including three penalties on
one play that nullified a 44-yard touchdown pass from King to
Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme, who broke his right thumb in
last week's win against San Francisco, seemed comfortable in the
pocket. He threw for 157 yards and found Muhammad over the middle
for a 28-yard touchdown and a 28-0 lead just before halftime.
Rodney Peete relieved Delhomme late in the game, marking the
first time Delhomme had not taken a snap for Carolina since the
second half of last year's opener against Jacksonville.