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Carolina Panthers rout New Orleans Saints in tension-filled game

Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers and Curtis

Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers and Curtis Lofton of the New Orleans Saints get into a fight after a touchdown during the first quarter at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Dec. 7, 2014 in New Orleans. Credit: Getty Images / Sean Gardner

NEW ORLEANS -- Cam Newton passed for three touchdowns, appeared to incite a scuffle with frustrated New Orleans after he went over the pile for another score, and the Panthers ended a six-game skid with a 41-10 rout of the Saints on Sunday.

Jonathan Stewart added a 69-yard touchdown as the Panthers (4-8-1) pulled within a game of NFC South leader Atlanta (5-7), which plays at Green Bay on Monday night.

Newton's jawing and "Superman" celebration of his 2-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter drew a shove from linebacker Curtis Lofton, igniting a scrum that went from a closed gate behind the goal post and into a tunnel.

Panthers tight end Brandon Williams was ejected for punching Cam Jordan, but Carolina kept rolling.

Newton's scoring passes went to Kelvin Benjamin, Greg Olsen and Fozzy Whitaker.

New Orleans (5-8) lost its fourth straight home game to drop a half-game behind Atlanta.

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