Cam Newton threw two touchdown passes, DeAngelo Williams ran for a score and the Carolina Panthers ended Houston’s seven-game winning streak with a 28-13 win over the Texans on Sunday.
Newton completed 13 of 23 passes for 149 yards, outplaying opposing rookie quarterback T.J. Yates.
The Panthers (5-9) built a 21-0 halftime lead, then ended Houston’s second-half rally when linebacker James Anderson intercepted Yates in the end zone midway through the fourth quarter.
Defensively, The Texans top-ranked unit looked vulnerable without coordinator Wade Phillips, who’s on medical leave after undergoing kidney and gall bladder surgery this week. Linebackers coach Reggie Herring made the defensive calls on Sunday.
Although Houston gave up only 316 yards, Carolina converted two Texans turnovers into 14 points.
Arian Foster fumbled on the second snap of the game, his third fumble lost on the season, leading to an early 7-0 Panthers lead.
It wasn’t the only mistake that led to points for the Panthers, as Yates was intercepted by Carolina linebacker Jordan Senn, which led to another touchdown after turnover.
Yates completed his first seven passes, but the Texans struggled to sustain drives against the league’s 24th-ranked defense.
The rookie from North Carolina completed 19 of 30 passes for 212 yards and two interceptions.