It was Carolina’s first playoff win in nine years and Newton’s first playoff victory since entering the league as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft.
The quarterback finished the game with 198 yards while Ron Rivera’s side also set an NFL record for fewest yards allowed in a postseason game on a rain-soaked afternoon.
The Panthers held Arizona to just 77 yards as they??set an unwanted NFL record for the fewest total yards gained in a post-season game.
The hosts also intercepted Ryan Lindley twice and sacked him four times, but??the game was littered with mistakes.
They overcame a 14-13 Arizona lead when Newton connected with Fozzy Whittaker on a 39-yard scoring play and then found Mike Tolbert for a one-yard touchdown after a Cardinals fumble on a kickoff return gave Carolina the ball at the Arizona three.
The victory was the fifth straight for the Panthers (8-8-1), who made the playoffs despite a losing record as the NFC South champions.
They will play at top-seeded Seattle next weekend if Dallas beats Detroit on Sunday. If the Lions win, the Panthers play at Green Bay.
After a 9-1 start, Arizona’s once promising season was undone by a rash of injuries, including to quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton.