Charlotte, NC – Cam Newton threw a touchdown pass on Carolina's second possession and the Panthers upended the Chicago Bears, 24-17, in the preseason opener for both teams.
Cornerback Josh Norman had a pair of interceptions, one on Chicago's first offensive play and the other a 60-yard return for a TD in the third quarter.
Newton, who played the first three series, completed 3-of-6 passes for 16 yards. That included a 3-yard score to Brandon LaFell.
There was some excitement for Bears rookie Jon Bostic. The linebacker, who was picked in the second round out of Florida, picked off Newton and rumbled 51 yards to the end zone.
The Bears played their first contest under new coach Marc Trestman, who replaced Lovie Smith. Trestman was a two-time Grey Cup winner as the pilot of the Montreal Alouettes.
Derek Anderson connected on 8-of-15 throws for 133 yards and was picked off once for the Panthers, who finished 7-9 last and missed the playoffs for a fourth straight year. Jimmy Clausen was 5-of-9 for 51 yards.
Chicago's first offensive play resulted in a turnover as Jay Cutler's pass was intercepted. Norman later picked off a Matt Blanchard pass, and the return boosted the Panthers to a 21-10 lead.
Cutler played the entire first quarter and finished 6-of-8 for 56 yards. Josh McCown saw action in the second quarter and Blanchard ended 15-of-18 for 194 yards.
Kenjon Barner, a sixth-round draft pick from Oregon, scored a 5-yard TD run in the closing minute of the second quarter for the Panthers.
Former LSU running back Michael Ford, who went undrafted, scored on a 4-yard run early in the fourth quarter to get the Bears within 21-17.
Graham Gano countered with a 50-yard field goal with 7:38 remaining, and Blanchard couldn't drive the Bears past the Carolina 42 in the closing minutes.
The Bears, who went 10-6 last season, saw nose tackle Henry Melton leave the game in the first half due to a concussion.