Happy homecoming for Fox; Broncos bash Panthers

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Former Panthers coach John Fox got his moment in the sun, and the Broncos improved to 6-3, shutting down the Panthers 36-14.

Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning threw for 301 yards and a touchdown, but this one was mostly about the Panthers problems on offense and special teams, which didn’t give them a chance to win.

The Panthers actually played competitively on defense, forcing a pair of turnovers.

But they allowed huge plays in the other two phases, eliminating ay slim chance they had.

After a Charles Johnson sack-strip gave them the ball, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton threw an egregious pick-six on first down while being tripped, making it 24-7 in the third quarter. They also allowed a punt return for a touchdown.

Newton was 21-of-36 for 241 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions, and the Panthers ran for just 52 yards, hitting the wall in the first quarter. When they did make a play, it was undone quickly, such as a 62-yard run by Jonathan Stewart negated by a holding penalty.

The Panthers protection was awful. Left tackle Jordan Gross is the only lineman to play every snap in the spot he started the season on the line, and Gross struggled along with the rest of his odd lot of linemates.

The Broncos were only too happy to accept, but Von Miller played the kind of disruptive game that has the Broncos all too happy the Panthers took Newton first overall in 2011.