Carolina capitalized on the turnover a short time later, when quarterback Cam Newton found tight end Ed Dickson for a seven-yard touchdown.
The Dolphins' run defense, which entered the game allowing just 94 yards per game, 10th-fewest in the National Football League, was trampled for a season-worst 294 yards, besting the previous worst (174 by Baltimore) by a sizeable margin. On offense, Miami finished with over 100 yards on the ground, but never threatened to sustain drives or find enough consistency to create balance.
The Panthers' running game as a whole was in form for the second game in a row, as the team rushed for a season-high 296 yards in the win. Carolina is first in total defense (274.1 yards per game), second in rushing defense (78.4), fourth in scoring (17.7) and seventh in yards per play allowed (4.9).
It was that kind of night for the Dolphins.
The offense, in its second game without running back Jay Ajayi, who was traded to Philadelphia, didn't do much to make the Carolina defense feel uncomfortable. Quarterback Jay Cutler threw for 311 yards and three touchdowns in the losing effort. It wasn't immediately clear whether Cutler or the receivers were at fault the majority of the time, but it didn't matter.
Devin Funchess caught five passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns as the Panthers (7-3) remained a half-game behind the NFC South division leading Saints. On first down, linebacker Luke Kuechly jumped the route of Miami tight end Julius Thomas and picked off a pass to give the Panthers the ball back.
The Panthers led 17-7 at halftime, in part because of a Dolphins gaffe late in the half.
Panthers centre Tyler Larsen suffered a foot injury and was questionable to return.
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