Panthers, Newton earn playoff berth

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The Carolina Panthers defeated the New Orleans Saints, making the playoffs for the first time since the 2008 season.

The Panthers reached the playoffs Sunday behind a Cam Newton touchdown pass to Domenik Hixon in the final seconds.

The 11-4 Panthers can win the NFC South and a first-round bye with a victory Sunday over the Atlanta Falcons.

“You know we just kept fighting, kept pounding, kept getting after it,” Newton said. “We really knew we were one drive away. We were one play away.”

Newton had a rough day overall, but managed to pull out the win at the last minute.

“Cam was very resilient,” coach Ron Rivera said. “He struggled all day and he knows that. But he came through when we needed him.”

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun

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