Panthers vs. Cardinals score: Teddy Bridgewater bests Kyler Murray as Carolina wins its second straight game

Led by Teddy Bridgewater, the Panthers improved to 2-2 on the season after defeating the visiting Cardinals, 31-21. The Cardinals are now 2-2 after dropping their second straight game. Bridgewater, who took full advantage of a Cardinals secondary playing without safeties Budda Baker and Chris Banjo, had a stellar game, going 26 of 37 for 276 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. After a slow start, Murray also posted impressive numbers, going 24 of 31 with three touchdowns while also being the Cardinals' leading rusher, with 78 yards on just six carries. 

Bridgewater led the Panthers to three touchdowns on their first four possessions. After scoring Carolina's second touchdown on an 18-yard run, his three-yard pass to Reggie Bonnafon gave the Panthers a 21-7 halftime lead. Bridgewater outgained the Cardinals in the first quarter, 126-19. The Panthers also went 4 of 5 on third downs on their first two drives against Arizona's top-ranked third down defense.

Arizona, whose lone first half score was set up by Patrick Peterson's interception, fell further behind after Bridgewater hit Ian Thomas for a two-yard score midway through the third quarter. The score was set up by rookie Yetur Gross-Matos' forced fumble of Murray. Murray immediately responded, as his 48-yard run on the Cardinals' next possession set up his three-yard touchdown pass to Christian Kirk. Murray initially got Arizona on the board after hitting Jordan Thomas for a three-yard score midway through the second quarter. 

The Panthers, fully utilizing their ground attack, responded with a 27-yard field goal by Joey Slye. After Slye was unable to connect on his next field goal attempt, Murray hit Chase Edmonds for a two-yard score to cap off a seven-play, 68-yard drive. It was too little too late, however, as the Panthers recovered the Cardinals' ensuing onside kick. 

Carolina's success on the ground was a major difference between the two teams on Sunday. Not including Murray, the Cardinals rushed for just 51 yards on 17 carries. Conversely, the Panthers, led by Mike Davis and Bonnafon, rushed for 168 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries. Davis, who scored the Panthers' first touchdown on a one-yard run, led both teams with 84 yards on 16 carries despite briefly exiting the game. Robbie Anderson led both teams with 99 receiving yards, while DeAndre Hopkins was held to just 41 yards on seven receptions. 

Carolina tallied 30 first downs for the first time since 2018. They also outgained Arizona, 444-262. 

Carolina will head to Atlanta to face the Falcons next Sunday, while the Cardinals will head to New York to take on the winless Jets. 

To relive Sunday's action in real time, check out our live blog below for instant updates, highlights and analysis. 

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@Panthers via Twitter
October 4, 2020, 8:21 PM
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Impressive win for the Panthers today. If they can play that good on defense moving forward, they could be a team to keep an eye on. For the Cardinals, they have to find a way to get more production on the ground if they are going to keep pace in the NFC West. Thanks again for following us! Make sure to keep an eye on CBS Sports for all of your NFL news.

October 4, 2020, 8:17 PM
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@AZCardinals via Twitter
October 4, 2020, 8:16 PM
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@Panthers via Twitter
October 4, 2020, 8:04 PM
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@AZCardinals via Twitter
October 4, 2020, 7:59 PM
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@AZCardinals via Twitter
October 4, 2020, 7:56 PM
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@AZCardinals via Twitter
October 4, 2020, 7:52 PM
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@AZCardinals via Twitter
October 4, 2020, 7:51 PM
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Panthers 7 of 10 on third down, against the NFL's top-ranked third down defense heading into today's game. A lot of that is due to the success Bridgewater is having. He's spreading the ball around and is largely getting out quickly, giving his teammates chances to make plays in space.

October 4, 2020, 7:42 PM
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@Panthers via Twitter
October 4, 2020, 7:41 PM
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@AZCardinals via Twitter
October 4, 2020, 7:30 PM
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@Panthers via Twitter
October 4, 2020, 7:29 PM
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The Panthers are in position to add to their 28-14 lead. Yes, the Cardinals not having two of their safeties hurts, but the Panthers' ability to have a balanced offense is one of the big reasons why Carolina is closing in on its second straight win. Panthers have 135 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries, with Mike Davis leading the way with 74 yards on 14 carries. Nearly half of the Cardinals' rushing total was on Murray's 48-yard run in the third quarter.

October 4, 2020, 7:29 PM
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@AZCardinals via Twitter
October 4, 2020, 7:27 PM
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@Panthers via Twitter
October 4, 2020, 7:27 PM
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@Panthers via Twitter
October 4, 2020, 7:23 PM
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@Panthers via Twitter
October 4, 2020, 7:22 PM
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@Panthers via Twitter
October 4, 2020, 7:16 PM
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Nice response by the Cardinals, with Murray making possibly the game's most impressive play with his 48-yard run. Murray is being asked to do too much, though, with the Cardinals' offense pretty much depending on him to make plays on the air and on the ground. Murray is leading the Cardinals with 71 yards on five carries. The Cardinals' other running backs have gained 36 yards on 14 carries.

October 4, 2020, 7:14 PM
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