The Panthers, last season’s losing Super Bowl finalists, have made a slow start this term and had lost their last four prior to the Cardinals clash in Charlotte.
Jonathan Stewart ran for 95 yards and helped himself to two touchdowns while Thomas Davis got Carolina off and running with a 46-yard dash following a fumble.
The Panthers, who won the NFC Championship game against Arizona last season, were 24-0 ahead at one stage but JJ Nelson grabbed two touchdowns to bring the scores closer.
Tom Brady matched an NFL record as the New England Patriots extended their winning streak to four games with a 41-25 success at the Buffalo Bills.
Brady threw four touchdowns as he emerged triumphant against the Bills for a 26th time in his career, matching a record set by Brett Favre against the Detroit Lions.
The Seattle Seahawks fell to a surprise 25-20 defeat at the New Orleans Saints while the Houston Texans maintained their perfect home record in beating Detroit 20-13.
The New York Jets only narrowly avoided an upset against the struggling Cleveland Browns. Cleveland remain without a win this season having lost all eight games but were 20-7 ahead at the break before eventually falling to a 31-28 loss.
In an even closer contest, the Washington Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals played out a 27-27 tie at Wembley after Dustin Hopkins missed a late 34-yard field goal attempt.
The tie was only the fifth in the NFL since 2012 but the second in the space of as many weeks after the Seahawks and the Cardinals also failed to produce a winner.
The Oakland Raiders also went to overtime but managed to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-24, while the Kansas City Chiefs triumphed 30-14 at the Indianapolis Colts.
Elsewhere, the Denver Broncos beat the San Diego Chargers 27-19, Mohamed Sanu’s touchdown in the final throes gave the Atlanta Falcons a 33-32 success over the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys scored a 29-23 overtime win over the Philadelphia Eagles.