CHARLOTTE, NC - AUGUST 13: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers reacts to a play during their preseason game against the New York Giants at Bank of America Stadium on August 13, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Tonight the Cincinnati Bengals host the Carolina Panthers as part of the third week of the NFL's preseason schedule. The Panthers will be looking for their second preseason win and the Bengals will be trying to win their first. The game starts at 7 p.m. and will be aired locally on WKRC (12) on tape delay at 11:55 p.m. (because the game won't sell out and will be blacked out). If you live outside of Cincinnati, here is a TV distribution map for tonight's game.
Today, before the game, we'll be writing up a series of game previews. The following is a preview of.....
Panthers Passing Game Vs. Bengals Defense
Like the Bengals, a rookie quarterback will be taking the snaps for the Panthers' first-string offense and like the Bengals, the Panthers' passing game has struggled under their new field general. Unlike the Bengals and Dalton, though, Newton not only has the capability to be impressive throwing the ball, but he can hurt a team with his legs too. The Bengals defense not only needs to send pressure at Newton, but they need to make sure that they keep him contained so he doesn't escape the pocket and run for a long gain.
Steve Smith will be making his preseason debut against the Bengals tonight. Even though he's got 11 years under his belt, he's still going to be tough to defend. He isn't near the top-10 in all receiving stats for active receivers in the league for no reason. The Bengals will also need to deal with Jeremy Shockey at tight end.
Newton has the weapons around him to be successful in the NFL. However, the Bengals defense should be more than capable of handling Newton and the passing game tonight.