Carolina finally got the home crowd fired up midway through the third quarter, as Jonathan Stewart just scored Carolina's first rushing TD of the season and trimmed Cincinnati's lead to 10-7.
After a horrid first half (0.0 passer rating), rookie QB Jimmy Clausen finally got his feet under him on this drive. With good protection, he had three good mid-to-short range passes (none of them, interestingly, to Steve Smith) and also sustained a roughing-the-passer penalty that gave Carolina 15 more yards.
On first-and-goal from the 1 after a 15-yard DeAngelo Williams run, Carolina tried to get cute and had Clausen throw to Dante Rosario. That was incomplete. Then came the simple handoff to Stewart and the TD, making it 10-7.
Cincinnati may well be regretting that clock mismanagement just before the half, which it ended on Carolina's 5 with no points because the clock ran out.