Tale Of The Tape: Carolina Panthers At Cincinnati Bengals

Carolina Panthers
Cincinnati Bengals
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
The Panthers appeared to be in deep distress after they fell behind to the Bears 21-7 in the first half, but Cam Newton was not about to accept defeat even though the Panthers had turned the ball over to Chicago three times. Despite lacking his trademark mobility, Newton brought the Panthers back with a sharp passing performance that included a game-winning TD pass to tight end Greg Olsen.
Winner The Bengals are going to attack the weak spots of the defense, and Marvin Lewis will not hesitate when it comes to letting Andy Dalton probe the secondary. Dalton may not have a fearsome reputation because of past weaknesses exposed in the postseason, but he is off to a fine start. He reads the defense well and he will not try to force the ball into coverage.
The Panthers will not come close to operating at peak efficiency until running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are healthy again and contributing. Backup Darrin Reaves had 35 yards against the Bears, and he is quite limited. Rookie wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin is talented but makes too many mistakes. Olsen is the Panthers’ top receiver when the game is on the line.
Winner The Bengals can cause a lot of problems for nearly every opponent with their two-head running attack. Giovanni Bernard has plenty of speed and can burst through any hole that his offensive line gives him, while Jeremy Hill is a fine complementary back. Wide receiver A.J. Green has game-breaking speed and razor-sharp moves, and Mohamed Sanu can get open and make key plays.
The Panthers got pushed around in the first half against the Bears, but they stood up for themselves and played decisively in the second half despite their personnel deficiencies. Middle linebacker Luke Kuechly had 15 tackles against Chicago and was outstanding once again, but Antoine Cason forced a key fumble late in the fourth quarter and defensive lineman Kawaan Short recovered that fumble and a key sack.
Winner The Bengals are not among the leaders in yardage allowed, but it’s very difficult to move the ball against them and put it in the endzone. They are large, nasty and very physical, and will punish opposing receivers who come across the middle. Geno Atkins and Domata Peko are solid in the middle of the defensive line, and defensive end Carlos Dunlap can punish opposing quarterbacks.
Special Teams
The Panthers got just the lift they were hoping for on special teams when rookie Philly Brown picked up a bouncing ball following a punt and raced 70 yards into the endzone for the opening touchdown of the game. Brown has game breaking speed and will attempt to put it on display against Cincinnati.
Winner The Bengals are going to have to contain the Panthers’ return game and try to get their own going with Brandon Tate and Adam Jones. Mike Nugent has been somewhat erratic on his FG attempts this season, but Kevin Huber has done a good job at pinning opponents inside the 20.

The Winner Is

(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Winner Cincinnati Bengals
4 out of 4

The Bengals have all the measurable edges and should have an easy win, but they are coming off a Sunday night game at New England and they may be looking forward to their Week Seven game at Indianapolis.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports


  1. PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 23: Sam Bradford #8 of the Minnesota Vikings throws a pass in the first quarter against Brandon Graham #55 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Vikings 21-10. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) GREENBAY, WI - OCTOBER 20: Running back Jordan Howard #24 of the Chicago Bears is tackled by nose tackle Kenny Clark #97 and cornerback Demetri Goodson #39 of the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter at Lambeau Field on October 20, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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  2. PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 23: Quarterback Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles avoids Everson Griffen #97 of the Minnesota Vikings as he runs for a first down during the second quarter of a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 16: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys looks to pass against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter at Lambeau Field on October 16, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Green Bay Packers 30-16.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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  3. GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 23:  Running back David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football during the NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals and Seahawks tied 6-6.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 16: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers scrambles out of the pocked during the first half of a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 16, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
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