The Bengals fell to the Panthers in a Week 3 game that saw many Cincinnati players lost to injury. A.J. Green didn’t return after suffering a groin injury. Tyler Kroft left and returned, Andrew Billings got banged up, Ryan Glasgow left on a cart, though he did walk into the locker room on his own power. All this with Joe Mixon already injured and sidelined following knee surgery.
The Bengals couldn’t muster up enough offense to win, while the defense looked helpless for stretches of the game. The final score was 31-21 in the Panthers’ favor.
Here are our in-game updates from the Panthers’ win over the Bengals.
Carolina had a decent drive going, but ended up turning the ball over on downs. After the big stop by the Bengals’ defense, the offense didn’t hold up their end of the bargain, going three-and-out.
Unfortunately, the injury bug kept hitting Cincinnati. Defensive lineman Ryan Glasgow had a leg injury and was carted off of the field.
Dalton scrambled around and make another nice pass to Boyd, but an Alex Redmond holding penalty pushed the Bengals into a big hole. They couldn’t gain another yard with A.J. Green on the sideline, but gave Randy Bullock a shot at a 53-yard field goal attempt. He had the distance, but it sailed wide left.
Newton brought the Panthers into field goal range, but on a third-and-11, Newton was called with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to force them to punt. Cincinnati’s ensuing drive was disastrous, giving up a sack on first down and then Dalton throwing his third interception of the contest on a route where John Ross appeared to have stopped running.
Carolina milked the clock via the run and set up for the game-clinching field goal with 1:16 left in the game. Graham Gano hit the 40-yard attempt to ice the game at 31-21.
Cincinnati received the second half opening kickoff, but had their drive stopped after netting a couple of first downs. However, the big news was in A.J. Green suffering a groin injury after coming down hard on an incomplete pass. He’s questionable to return.
Green grimacing while trying to walk it off on sideline. He's been downgraded to questionable to return. #Bengals— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonATH) September 23, 2018
The defense forced a punt, but the Bengals squandered the opportunity. After a nice completion to the middle of the field, Dalton forced a pass to Josh Malone. It was tipped up and subsequently intercepted by the Panthers and set them up in scoring position.
Carolina chipped away at the Bengals’ defense, largely thanks to the versatility of Newton. The quarterback took an option play up the middle for a four-yard score and gave his team a 28-14 lead with five and a half minutes left in the third quarter.
After seeming like the game was getting out of hand, Cincinnati’s offense got to work. Dalton picked the Panthers’ defense apart, with help coming in the form of some great catches by Tyler Boyd and Tyler Eifert. Unfortunately, the Bengals lost Tyler Kroft to injury on the drive, and Andrew Billings shortly afterward, as the injuries have been piling up over the past two games.
Regardless, Dalton scrambled away from pressure and hit Boyd for a beautiful 24-yard score, to cut Carolina’s lead to 28-21.
Bengals not out of it yet... Dalton completes a 27 yarder to Tyler Boyd. Panthers 28, Bengals 21. 2:53 remaining in the 3rd. pic.twitter.com/8dLIGJzHNX— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) September 23, 2018
It didn’t take long for the Panthers to capitalize off of the turnover. Cam Newton hit Devin Funchess for a three-yard touchdown, giving Carolina a 14-7 lead in the early stages of the second quarter.
Cincinnati caught a bit of a break after a Dalton fumble was overturned, and continued to churn out first downs. Giovani Bernard had a nice 12-yard run, coupled with John Ross catch to set up a first-and-goal.
Dalton executed a play-action pass that would have Boomer Esiason jealous and hit C.J. Uzomah for a one-yard score. Midway through the second quarter, Carolina and Cincinnati are tied, 14-14.
C.J. Uzomah with some TD dancing moves, baby. pic.twitter.com/UV7KxwXweZ— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) September 23, 2018
The injuries and vacancies on Cincinnati’s defense continue to haunt them. McCaffrey had a couple of big runs, but C.J. Anderson took a 24-yard screen pass behind a convoy for a score and a 21-14 lead with just under three minutes to play.
Cincinnati looked to be inching towards field goal territory, but the two-minute drill drive stalled out. They punted the ball back to the Panthers at 1:09, but pinned them at their won one-yard line. Carolina was content to run the clock out and head into halftime with a seven-point lead.
The Panthers started with the ball and went three and out. The Bengals got the ball and quickly got down to the red zone. After marching down the field via a number of great passes by Andy Dalton, Giovani Bernard punched it in the end zone from a yard out. Cincinnati has an early 7-0 lead.
Carolina answered right back, thanks to two big runs from Christian McCaffrey. After holding tight the first two downs, Cam Newton scrambled into the end zone to tie the game at 7-7 on third and goal. Both the Panthers and Bengals have combined to score a touchdown in their last 11 red zone possessions.
On the ensuing possession, the Bengals were on the move thanks to an A.J. Green reception that was reviewed as in bounds, but a poor sequence of events ensued. After Giovani Bernard was knocked for a seven-yard loss, there was a questionable incomplete pass call to A.J. Green.
Here's the second down reception that was ruled incomplete. It seems like he had control, but you can't tell because his body blocks the angle. No review. pic.twitter.com/fcTaZAm77N— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) September 23, 2018
In a big hole in the form of a third-and-long, Dalton floated a ball to John Ross, only to have it be intercepted.
Dalton forcefeeds Ross. Not good. pic.twitter.com/DKsEuXW4hL— Dadio McDuck (@dadiodefacto) September 23, 2018
The Panthers were on the move as the second quarter started.
For the second time in eight seasons, the best two quarterbacks from the 2011 draft class will be playing against each other. The Panthers’ former first-overall pick, Cam Newton, will host the Bengals and former 2011 second-round pick Andy Dalton on Sunday.
The Bengals are coming off an extended break after defeating the Ravens on Thursday Night Football, and are in the driver’s seat in the AFC North with their 2-0 record. A win in Carolina would be huge in creating some breathing room against the rest of the division, where the three other teams have largely started the season off on the wrong foot.
Here is a look at the Bengals inactive players for Week 3:
- OL Cedric Ogbuehi
- WR Auden Tate
- LB Preston Brown
- OL Billy Price
- RB Joe Mixon
- DE Michael Johnson
- RB Thomas Rawls
On the other side, here is a look at the Panthers’ inactives today:
- WR Curtis Samuel
- WR Damiere Byrd
- TE Greg Olsen
- G Trai Turner
- LB Andre Smith
- Lorenzo Doss
- Marquis Haynes
Cincinnati will hope to keep their winning streak alive without running back Joe Mixon. He had his knee scoped following Thursday night’s game, and will likely miss at least two games. Though, there’s some hope he plays in Week 4 when the Bengals visit Atlanta. Giovani Bernard should be able to be productive in Mixon’s absence though, but will it be enough for the Bengals to secure the win against the Panthers?
Here’s everything you need to know about the Bengals vs. Panthers game:
Game: Cincinnati Bengals (2-0) at Carolina Panthers (1-1)
Date/Time: Sep. 23rd, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. EST
Location: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
Streaming: Fubo TV
Series Leader: Series tied at 2-2-1
Streak: The Bengals have won two of the last three and the teams tied last time they faced in 2014.
Coaches vs. Opponent: Marvin Lewis: (2-0-1) . Ron Rivera (0-0-1)
TV Broadcast: The game will air on CBS-TV. In the Bengals’ home region, it will be carried by WKRC-TV (Ch. 12) in Cincinnati, WHIO-TV (Ch. 7) in Dayton and on WKYT-TV (Ch. 27) in Lexington. Broadcasters are Kevin Harlan (play-byplay), Rich Gannon (analyst) and Steve Tasker (sideline reporter).
Radio Broadcast: The game will air on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati flagship stations WLW-AM (700), WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530; all sports) and WEBN-FM (102.7). Broadcasters are Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst). The game also will air nationally on the Sports USA radio network. Broadcasters are Larry Kahn (play-by-play) and John Robinson (analyst)
SB Nation Panthers site: Cat Scratch Reader
Weather: Mid 70’s, partly cloudy [NFL weather]
Odds: Panthers, -3 [Odds Shark]