Newton, Panthers starting to hit their stride

Updated: December 10, 2012, 5:24 AM ET
Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- After struggling to score points and move the chains for much of the season, the Carolina Panthers' offense has suddenly hit its stride.

Too bad it's too late in the year to make a difference.

At 4-9 the Panthers won't be playing in the postseason, which makes Carolina's 30-20 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday a little bittersweet.

"This shows what we were capable of," coach Ron Rivera said. "That's the sad part."

Cam Newton threw for 287 yards ...

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