GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The return of Daryl Washington has made a good Arizona defense even better.
Just ask Cam Newton.
Washington had two of Arizona's seven sacks of Newton and one of its three interceptions in the Cardinals' 22-6 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
"He was the same old D-Wash," teammate Patrick Peterson said, "running sideline to sideline."
Washington was back after serving a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
"It feels good, especially with a win at home," he said. "My teammates and this organization are so supportive of me that it makes it easy for me to go out and do what I do."
There were plenty of other defensive playmakers for the Cardinals, who fell behind 6-3 at halftime but dominated the second half.
Calais Campbell had two sacks, one for Arizona's first regular-season safety in nine years, the other forcing a game-clinching fumble. Karlos Dansby also had two sacks and an interception. Peterson also had an interception.
"That's the beauty of it," Campbell said. "When you have so many guys that are as talented as we have, you've got to pick your poison. You can try to take one of us out of the game, somebody else is going to eat."
Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer called his team's defensive performance "phenomenal, lights out, and not surprising whatsoever."
Carolina (1-3), playing for the first time since a 38-0 victory over the New York Giants two weeks ago, managed only Graham Gano's field goals from 22 and 51 yards.
"It is as disappointing as disappointing gets," Panthers safety Mike Mitchell said.
The day just got worse and worse for Newton, returning to the site of his BCS championship performance for Auburn and his impressive NFL debut.
"I have to do a better job of protecting the football," he said. "We had our opportunities in the red zone multiple times and we just couldn't seem to get it together. We are not going to sob or get beside ourselves or go into a shell. We are going to keep fighting. That is what this team is full of."
Palmer threw a touchdown pass, but was intercepted three times as Arizona's offense struggled again, as it did most of last week in a 13-10 win at Tampa Bay.
"You can call them ugly wins or any kind of wins you want," said Cardinals first-year coach Bruce Arians, who turned 61 on Thursday. "As long as they're wins, I love them."
Jay Feely, who had a 42-yard field goal for Arizona's only points of the first half, kicked a 50-yarder to make it 15-6 with 3:38 to play.
The Cardinals clinched it when Campbell sacked Newton and the ball popped free. Antoine Cason picked it up and ran 40 yards to the Carolina 9.