Well, that was ugly.
The Cincinnati Bengals scored the last 24 points of the first half and have taken a commanding 24-7 lead over the Carolina Panthers at halftime.
After Cam Newton's 16-yard touchdown run to begin the scoring, it has been all Cincinnati. The half has borne much resemblance to the first half a week ago in Miami, when Carolina trailed 17-0 at halftime after allowing a staggering 301 yards. This time, Cincinnati has 269 (compared to Carolina's 111).
Cincinnati's Mike Nugent hit a 55-yard field goal just before the end of the first half to account for the final points.
Newton is only 3-for-12 passing and has thrown a number of balls at very well-covered receivers or else inaccurately at receivers who were slightly open. However, he did have a gem of a TD run and also a 26-yard scramble that was one tackle away from going another 20-30 yards.
The Panthers' main problem: run defense. They have allowed the Bengals to run roughshod over the middle of the defensive line, as Cedric Benson and Bernard Scott have both scored a touchdown apiece and rushed for more than 60 yards each for the Bengals. The third TD score was on Andy Dalton's 40-yard TD pass to A.J. Green.
Dalton, another rookie, has been much more impressive throwing the ball so far than Newton, who is slated to play one more quarter.
10 months ago