Where was it?
The Panthers' defense had all sorts of problems again Sunday, but Carolina still ended up tying Cincinnati, 37-37, in overtime in the highest-scoring tie game in modern NFL history.
Cincinnati kicker Mike Nugent missed a 36-yard field goal on the final play of overtime to let Carolina off the hook. The Panthers' defense had allowed Cincinnati to get inside the 20 yet again, but Nugent sent the ball wide right. Both teams had earlier had one field goal in overtime. It was the first tie game in the Panthers' 20-season history, and keeps them atop the NFC South.
The Panthers (3-2-1) gave up points on each of Cincinnati's first three possessions -- a field goal and two touchdowns, including an 89-yard run from Gio Bernard.
A brief flurry of good defensive plays in the third quarter -- including two interceptions of Andy Dalton -- gave Panther fans hope. And ultimately, it was barely enough to squeak out a tie. Panther wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin said after the game his team had come to Cincinnati looking for a "W" but ended up with a "T."
The Panthers almost wasted a dazzling game from Cam Newton, who ran the ball effectively for the first time all season -- he ran for 107 yards -- and was extremely accurate through the air most of the game. Newton threw two touchdown passes -- to his favorite targets Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen -- and ran for another. He had one overthrow for an interception. That miscue led Cincinnati's field goal to go ahead 34-31, which was matched by Gano with a 44-yarder as time expired in regulation. Newton also led a field-goal drive the only time Carolina got the ball in overtime (Rivera did not go for a fourth-and-1 at the Cincinnati 18 in overtime, instead having Gano tie the game at 37).
Gano didn't have a great day. He botched a 38-yard field-goal attempt early in the fourth quarter that would have put Carolina up, 27-17. Instead, it stayed 24-17, and the Bengals shortly were in the end zone again when Mohamed Sanu burned Carolina cornerback Melvin White for a 34-yard touchdown.
Gano, who is normally an automatic touchback machine on kickoffs, also had the misfortune of only getting one kickoff two yards deep to Adam "Pacman" Jones. Jones happily ran it out and ended up going 97 yards, getting tackled inside the 5. The Bengals scored on the next play.
Ultimately, though, the Panthers will happily take this one. That looked like a loss for much of the afternoon, but Carolina ended up grabbing half a loaf of bread right at the end thanks to Nugent and his miss.
1 year ago