Final

Chiefs 16

(1-1, 0-1 away)

Panthers 28

(1-1, 1-1 home)

Coverage: FOX

8:00 PM ET, August 17, 2014

Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC 

1 2 3 4 T
KC 3 3 10 016
CAR 0 14 14 028

Top Performers

Passing: A. Smith (KC) - 127 YDS

Rushing: F. Whittaker (CAR) - 13 CAR, 71 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: T. Kelce (KC) - 4 REC, 63 YDS, 1 TD

Cam Newton enjoys successful return as Panthers top Chiefs 

Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- If Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera has his way, Cam Newton won't be running as many read-option plays as he has in the past.

If Jonathan Stewart runs the way he did Sunday night, Newton won't need to.

Newton made a successful return following ankle surgery, Stewart ran for two touchdowns and the Panthers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 28-16 in a preseason game.

Newton completed 4 of 9 passes for 65 yards and led a pair of touchdown drives before exiting late in the second quarter with Carolina (1-1) up 14-6. Stewart ran for 26 yards on four carries and made a strong case to be the Panthers' goal-line back -- if not their primary ball carrier -- with scoring runs of 3 and 2 yards.

Newton has been hit more than any quarterback in the NFL over the past three seasons and Rivera has said he'd like to reduce the wear and tear on his franchise quarterback.

"If we can run the ball effectively with the backs and not have to rely on him running we would much rather do that," Rivera said.

And that's fine with Newton.

"I'm trying to win football games and if that is saying, `Cam hand the ball off every play. Cam run the ball down the field 20 yards like a chicken with his head cut off every play. Cam drop back and throw the ball. Cam go get everybody a drink of water.' ... Whatever is asked of me, I will do to try to win the football game," Newton said.

Newton was rusty early.

Carolina's first three possessions netted a yard and no first downs. Newton compounded the problem by overthrowing Kelvin Benjamin on a deep ball after the rookie receiver got behind the secondary.

But Stewart replaced DeAngelo Williams and immediately gave the Panthers a boost with a 17-yard carry around left end. The Panthers found their rhythm after that, driving 66 and 50 yards for touchdowns on their next two possessions.

"We had a slow start tonight, which is unacceptable," Newton said. "We have to stay on schedule and not waste opportunities like the shot to Benji. Kansas City's a good football team and we didn't match their intensity early."

Kansas City's Alex Smith finished 14 of 22 for 127 yards.

The Chiefs (1-1) moved the ball well early on without star running back Jamaal Charles, but were forced to settle for a pair of field goals -- one of them a 54-yarder by Ryan Succop.

"We did some good things," Smith said. "We moved the ball on a stout defense. We just didn't finish, but self-inflicted things tonight."

Kansas City's search for a reliable No. 2 receiver continues.

Dwayne Bowe, who will miss the first game of the regular season because of an NFL-imposed suspension, had five catches for 62 yards but none of the Chiefs' other wide receivers stood out.

Rookie quarterback Aaron Murray's first NFL pass completion was for a 43-yard touchdown strike to tight end Travis Kelce, but he later threw an interception leading to a Carolina touchdown.

Newton had to shake off some early rust.

He missed on five of his first six passes and was sacked for a 13-yard loss, leading to three straight three-and-outs to start the game.

Carolina benefited from a 32-yard pass interference penalty on Chiefs cornerback Ron Parker that set up Stewart's first TD -- a run in which the 5-foot-10, 235-pounder bounced off a defender and bowled his way into the end zone.

Newton connected on a 24-yard pass to Benjamin over the middle on Carolina's next series leading to Stewart's second score.

It was an encouraging return to the field for Stewart, a former first-round draft pick who has missed 17 games the past two seasons with foot and ankle injuries. Stewart has been limited to 516 yards rushing and one touchdown the past two seasons.

"It's been a while since I've touched the end zone," said Stewart, who sat out the first preseason game because of a strained hamstring.

The Panthers had a chance to extend their lead before halftime, but Benjamin lost his cool and head-butted Chiefs defensive back Chris Owens. That cost the Panthers 15 yards and took them out of field goal range.

Game notes


Chiefs WR Junior Hemingway left the game with a strained hip flexor. Coach Andy Reid said Hemingway will be re-evaluated Monday. ... Rivera wasn't ready to declare Byron Bell his starting left tackle, but said he has played extremely well. ... Rivera pulled cornerback Josh Norman from the game after he started talking trash on the field in the first half.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
KC
CAR
1st Downs1921
Passing 1st downs
118
Rushing 1st downs
710
1st downs from penalties
13
3rd down efficiency
7-153-10
4th down efficiency
0-01-1
Total Plays6156
Total Yards330279
Yards per play5.45.0
Total Drives1011
Passing225150
Comp-Att
22-3511-20
Yards per pass
5.96.3
Interceptions thrown
10
Sacks-Yards Lost
3-184-33
Rushing105129
Rushing Attempts
2332
Yards per rush
4.64.0
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-14-4
Penalties13-1314-32
Turnovers10
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
10
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession32:1227:48

Passing Leaders

KCC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Smith14/221275.8002-18
Murray5/9819.0111-0
CARC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Anderson5/89111.4101-5
Newton4/9657.2002-19

Rushing Leaders

KCCARYDSAVGTDLG
Gray10444.4012
Davis9303.3011
CARCARYDSAVGTDLG
Whittaker13715.5119
Stewart4266.5217

Receiving Leaders

KCRECYDSAVGTDLG
Kelce46315.8143
Bowe56212.4021
CARRECYDSAVGTDLG
Benjamin24120.5024
Williams13131.0031

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERKCCAR
kcFG9:20Ryan Succop 54 Yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 44 yds, 4:07
30
SECOND QUARTERKCCAR
kcFG14:55Cairo Santos 44 Yd Field Goal
Drive info: 7 plays, 26 yds, 3:14
60
carTD12:37Jonathan Stewart 2 Yd Run (Graham Gano Kick)
Drive info: 4 plays, 66 yds, 2:18
67
carTD6:23Jonathan Stewart 3 Yd Run (Graham Gano Kick)
Drive info: 6 plays, 50 yds, 2:56
614
THIRD QUARTERKCCAR
kcFG9:39Ryan Succop 25 Yd Field Goal
Drive info: 11 plays, 73 yds, 5:21
914
kcTD8:24Travis Kelce 43 Yd pass from Aaron Murray (Cairo Santos Kick)
Drive info: 1 plays, 43 yds, 0:09
1614
carTD3:58Brenton Bersin 16 Yd pass from Derek Anderson (Graham Gano Kick)
Drive info: 7 plays, 70 yds, 4:26
1621
carTD0:18Fozzy Whittaker 1 Yd Run (Graham Gano Kick)
Drive info: 4 plays, 8 yds, 2:01
1628