The Carolina Panthers improved to 2-1 on the young season after a well-rounded 31-21 win against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. After a rough game in Atlanta just a week ago, the Panthers rebounded nicely to earn their second win in this early campaign. Headed into an early bye week, the Panthers looked strong on both the offensive and defensive sides. Here is a look at a recap of the win.
Carolina Panthers Knock Off Cincinnati Bengals to Improve to 2-1
Many experts and analysts penciled in second-year running back Christian McCaffrey for a breakout season this year. Boy, he sure came to play in this matchup. CMC had the best rushing game (by far) of his young career in this contest. He accumulated a career-high 184 rush yards on an astounding 28 carries. With an average of 6.6 yards per carry, the Stanford product put on a show all afternoon. Surprisingly enough, McCaffrey was not a part of the passing game much today, although he didn’t need to be to still make a huge impact on this game. Today showed why the Panthers love this kid so much and have high hopes for him and the offense in the future.
Just Cam Being Cam
Former MVP quarterback Cam Newton played like one in this contest. The Bengals had no answer for Newton’s passing nor goal line rushing. Despite only accounting for 150 passing yards, Newton controlled the air attack and really put together another strong performance. He made a lot of safe throws and was consistently finding open receivers all game long. Altogether, Newton had four touchdowns on the day, two each passing and running. The dynamic duo of Newton and McCaffery was on point for the Panthers today and they will continue to carry the offense throughout the season.
Two Defensive Rookies Shine
The Panthers might have finally found their Josh Norman replacement. Rookie cornerback Donte Jackson caught his first career interception in last week’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons. He followed that performance by intercepting Andy Dalton twice in this week’s game. Jackson finished the game with two interceptions and a solid seven tackles and is now tied for first in the league with three picks. He prides himself on playing with a swagger and this smash mouth cornerback is really proving he can play in this league. At this point in the season, Jackson has to be the defensive rookie of the year.
“Action Jackson” wasn’t the only rookie to have a career game against the Bengals. In his first career NFL game, defensive end Efe Obada made a huge first impression to Panthers fans. Deemed as the “final man to make the roster,” Obada had one interception and a sack in just a handful of snaps on Sunday. Obada nearly added a second sack and fumble to his day but eventually got overturned. Just when the Panthers needed a big play, Obada was there and created chaos for the Bengals offensive line. If you know Obada’s story and journey to becoming an NFL player, it’s hard to not crack a smile seeing him have success in his first career game.
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) September 23, 2018
- Giovani Bernard One-yard touchdown run (7-0 Bengals)
- Cam Newton Two-yard touchdown run (7-7)
- Devin Funchess Four-yard touchdown pass from Cam Newton(14-7 Panthers)
- C.J. Uzomah One-yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton (14-14)
- C.J. Anderson 24-yard touchdown pass from Cam Newton (21-14 Panthers)
- Cam Newton Five-yard touchdown run (28-14 Panthers)
- Tyler Boyd 27-yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton (28-21 Panthers)
- Graham Gano 40-yard field goal (31-21 Panthers)
- The Panthers outrushed the Bengals 230-66.
- The Panthers only committed three penalties for a total of 17 yards.
- The Bengals committed four turnovers, while the Panthers had none.
- The Panthers were 100 percent at converting in the red zone, all for touchdowns.
- The Panthers won the time of possession battle 33:55-26:05.
(Finally) The Panthers avoided any significant injuries in this game and the only issue for the Panthers health wise was when star linebacker Luke Kuechly left the game for a few plays due to dehydration.