Panthers 24

(3-2, 1-1 away)

Cardinals 20

(1-4, 1-2 home)

4:15 PM ET, October 9, 2005


1 2 3 4 T
CAR 3 7 0 1424
ARI 0 17 3 020

Top Performers

Passing: J. McCown (ARI) - 398 YDS, 2 TD, 3 INT

Rushing: S. Davis (CAR) - 18 CAR, 46 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: A. Boldin (ARI) - 10 REC, 162 YDS, 1 TD

Panthers overcome 10-point deficit in win

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- The Carolina Panthers finally stopped Josh McCown's passing show and with a 94-yard touchdown drive pulled above .500 for the first time this season.

It was over when ...
Jake Delhomme found Steve Smith for the go-ahead score with 6:54 remaining. The Panthers' D did the rest.
Game ball goes to ...
Delhomme, who threw for 243 yards and two scores. Honorable mention goes to Josh McCown, who threw for 394 yards, a career high, and two TDs (and three picks) in a losing effort.
ESPN's take ...
Eric Allen The Panthers have shown a great amount of resilience over the past few weeks as they've won some close games at the end. They have the resources to pull off these wins because they are mentally and physically a tough football team. They can grind it out on the ground with their myriad running backs or rely on Steve Smith to have a big game as he did once again today. Defensively they bend a little bit but don't break and play well enough to win games.
-- Eric Allen

Jake Delhomme threw two touchdown passes to Steve Smith, one for 65 yards in the first half and the decisive 4-yarder with 6:54 to go to give the Panthers (3-2) a 24-20 comeback victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

Delhomme completed 18-of-29 passes for 243 yards and two scores. He was intercepted once.

"To come across the country on a short week to win and fight back the way we did," Delhomme said, "it was pretty nice."

Arizona (1-4), leading 20-10 after three quarters, had the ball twice after Carolina's go-ahead score.

The Cardinals drove to the Panthers' 33, but Marlon McCree intercepted McCown's pass in the end zone for the second time in the game. The Cardinals' last shot ended when McCown scrambled on fourth-and-10 but came up inches short at the Panthers' 49.

"We moved the ball OK, but you've got to be able to score points and you've got to be able to slam the door," Arizona coach Dennis Green said.

McCown completed 29-of-46 passes for 394 yards, a career high for the second week in a row. He threw for two touchdowns but was intercepted three times. McCown threw for 385 yards a week earlier in the victory over San Francisco in Mexico City, a game he started in place of injured Kurt Warner.

Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald became the first Cardinals tandem to top 100 yards receiving each in consecutive games. It was the first time it's happened in the NFL since 2001, when Derrick Mason and Kevin Dyson did it for Tennessee.

Boldin caught 10 for 158 yards and a touchdown, Fitzgerald nine for 136 yards and a score.

After beating Green Bay on Monday night, the Panthers were in trouble most of the afternoon in the desert.

With Arizona leading 20-10 late in the third, McCown threw to Boldin, who dodged a tackler -- but Thomas Davis stripped the ball, and Ken Lucas picked it up and ran to the Arizona 5.

"The ball got away from my body. He hit it as he was coming. It was just a bad play on my part," Boldin said.

Two plays later, Stephen Davis scored from the one on the first play of the fourth quarter to make it 20-17.

The Panthers went 94 yards in 10 plays for the winning touchdown. On second-and-12 from his 25, Delhomme's screen pass to DeShaun Foster gained 30 yards. A personal foul against Darnell Dockett for a blow to Delhomme's head added 15 to the play to put the ball on the Arizona 30.

With two cornerbacks already sidelined, Arizona lost another, Robert Tate, on the drive. Safety Quentin Harris moved to cornerback; on the 6-yard winning touchdown, Smith fought the ball away from him.

Boldin broke four tackles on a 20-yard scoring play that put Arizona up 17-10 in the second period. Fitzgerald's leaping grab of McCown's 26-yard pass for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter gave the Cardinals a 7-3 lead.

The Cardinals blew a chance for a late first-half score. McCown connected with Charles Lee on a 49-yard pass to the Carolina 2, but on second down from the 4, Lucas deflected McCown's pass to Fitzgerald and McCree intercepted.

"All turnovers are big because they usually put points on the board or take points off the board," Panthers coach John Fox said. "That play was huge."

Lucas took the place of cornerback Chris Gamble, hobbled by a sore ankle, late in the first half. Fitzgerald caught three for 30 yards in the second half.

The Cardinals are off next Sunday. If Warner's groin injury is healed by then, Green will have to decide whether to stay with McCown. He hinted that it would be hard to go away from the youngster after his two performances while Warner was down.

"That's a lot of yardage," Green said. "Josh has been able to find the wide receivers, that's a big plus."

McCown said he wasn't going to concern himself with job security.

"I'm just going to fight and play as hard as I can and whatever happens happens," he said. "I just hate that we didn't get a win today. As a quarterback, with the opportunity to make plays, you hate that you walked off this field a loser. That's what hurts the worst."

Game notes

Eric Green left the game with a shoulder injury after he was fooled badly on Smith's 65-yard TD run. ... All three of McCown's interceptions were deflected, one by Julius Peppers. ... Neil Rackers kicked two field goals to improve his club record to 18-for-18 this season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs1519
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Yards330468
Yards per play5.96.3
Total Drives21
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

FG9:19John Kasay 46 Yd
Drive: 4 plays, 2 yds, 1:17
TD0:05Larry Fitzgerald 26 Yd Pass From Josh Mccown (Neil Rackers Kick)
Drive: 3 plays, 26 yds, :50
TD2:31Steve Smith 65 Yd Pass From Jake Delhomme (John Kasay Kick)
Drive: 4 plays, 80 yds, 2:26
FG4:34Neil Rackers 39 Yd
Drive: 6 plays, 57 yds, 2:03
TD9:52Anquan Boldin 20 Yd Pass From Josh Mccown (Neil Rackers Kick)
Drive: 6 plays, 90 yds, 3:27
FG9:49Neil Rackers 49 Yd
Drive: 12 plays, 44 yds, 6:54
TD0:03Stephen Davis 1 Yd Run (John Kasay Kick)
Drive: 2 plays, 5 yds, :30
TD8:06Steve Smith 4 Yd Pass From Jake Delhomme (John Kasay Kick)
Drive: 10 plays, 94 yds, 5:00