Panthers rise above .500 with comeback victory

Associated Press
Published October 10, 2005

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

Jake Delhomme threw two touchdowns 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 a comeback victory.

"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, up 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.

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 a victory over San Francisco in Mexico City, which he started in place of injured Kurt Warner.

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 Anquan Boldin, who dodged a tackler - but Thomas Davis stripped the ball from the former Florida State standout, and Ken Lucas picked it up and ran to the Arizona 5.

Two plays later, Stephen Davis scored from the 1 on the first play of the fourth to get the Panthers within 20-17.

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

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

NOTABLE: Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald became the first Cardinals tandem to top 100 yards receiving each in consecutive games. The last duo to do it was Derrick Mason and Kevin Dyson, who did it for Tennessee in 2001.