Sunday, October 12, 2014

Panthers survive, get a happy tie with Cincinnati

Dee-Fense. Dee-Fense.

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.


Anonymous said...

A happy tie? No it was as frustrating as a loss. Blew so so many chances to be 4-2. Didn't go for it on 4th down (pretty much playing for a tie), Cotchery couldn't make a TD catch to ice the game, Cason missed an INT late, Gano missed an easy FG, and special teams allowed a long return. I am furious- this was a huge blown opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Panthers D looks to be a tad bit overrated, Hardy being out should'nt have cause that much of a big drop-off, 49ers don't seem to be bothered about players missing from line up. This makes no sense. Looks like back end of the D is still not fixed.

Anonymous said...

If we don't start bumping their receivers at the line during regulation gametime we will never get them off the field. All the short yardage pickups the Bengals kept getting were because our corners played 10 yards back off the line. I see this on most our games.

Anonymous said...

Not a happy tie, a blown opportunity. We might need that W in about 10 more weeks.

Perhaps evens out for last week where they handed it to us.

Anonymous said...

Tie. Everybody wins!

John Geiger said...

The backfield of this team just is terrible. Just goes to show you that you can't pick up a bunch of cheap scrubs in the free agent market and make a good team out of them. They are all slow and can't tackle worth a damn...Harper takes horrible angles and can't catch anyone...way past his prime...Godfrey is just plane overmatched as a nickle back...we are starting to see how much Hardy meant to this defense as well. He was a pure disruptor and was in on almost every play like Luke...we miss him big time.

Anonymous said...

A vulnerable defense that has lost its mojo and ability to pressure the QB. DBs are pathetic and cannot tackle. Nice to see Newton run again, but 17 carries is a problem. Too many big plays by the Bengals. Green Bay next week, not optimistic. Another 30 points or so given up by the defense. How did things go so wrong?

Anonymous said...

I expect more from Newton and Rivera.
Can needs to use better judgement when he wants to run and not make is so obvious because it gets too sloppy. Rivera needs to not punt so much.

Cam sure has the numbers but we need the winning plays. Does he throw that ball too hard or what.

With that said the guys did play hard and they all need to give it their all and then some not just some players.

I just fear a heart attack everytime our kicker comes out.