Bengals 42 Panthers 21
What a difference a week makes....and success on the ground.
Joe Mixon and the Bengals ran roughshod over the Panthers in a 42-21 demolition Sunday at Paycor Stadium. The Bengals led 35-0 at the half and were emptying the bench by late 3rd quarter. Mixon had 211 total yards and set a franchise record with a five touchdown day, four rushing and one receiving.....with four of the TDs coming in the first half.
The Bengals hit the bye at 5-4 and now try to get healthy for a stretch run that starts with a trip to Pittsburgh on November 13.
Halftime advantage: 35-0 score, 45-17 plays, 21-1 1st downs, 311-32 yards. The Panthers did not record their first first down until 3:06 remained in the first half. The 35 point halftime lead tied for the 2nd largest in franchise history (35 vs Oilers '83). The record is 38 (Patriots '70).
Go Joe, go! Mixon had 211 yards of total offense: 22 carries for 153 (7.0) yards rushing ( 4 TD) and 4 catches on 5 targets for 58 yards. He got galloping on the first drive and never slowed down. He made defenders miss. He broke tackles. The rest of the team fed off his early energy. It was his first 100 yard rushing game since Week 11 vs Pittsburgh last season, a span of 17 games, including the postseason. He had explosive plays: 35-yard screen pass and runs of 29, 17, 17, 15. Bengals WRs were solid blockers. He became the 5th back in franchise history to reach 5,000 yards rushing in a career: Pete Johnson, James Brooks, Corey Dillon, Rudi Johnson.
Balance: Opening possession 90-yard TD drive: 5 passes, 4 runs. First 22 plays: 11 passes for 97 yards and 11 runs for 75 yards. They ran it 10 times on MNF. Total: 39 rushes for 241 yards (6.2) and 31passes for 223 yards. Total yards: 464 (6.4)....30 first downs. TOP 39:21. They were 6 of 6 in the red zone with 6 TD.
Getting it done on 1st down: First down production through three quarters: Rushing 15 for 103 (6.89) 2 TD. Passing 10 of 14, 99 yards. First down gains through three quarters included: 9, 35, 9, 9, 9, 9, 8, 14, 20, 17, 8, 9 yards.
Explosion: The O scored four TDs in the 2nd quarter and has scored a total of 30, 35, 13 and 42 points over the last four weeks.
OL: The OL pulled early and often and Mixon followed their lead. Perine added a 29-yard rumble.
Burrow: 22-28-206-TD passing, 109.2 QB rating, TD rushing (sneak). He exited with 3:42 left in the 3rd quarter and the lead at 42-7. He was threading the needle early on passes.
Trenton Irwin had a 14-yard catch and later appeared to have his 1st NFL TD, but he was ruled out of bounds on a tap-tap along the endzone sideline. He ran a jet sweep for his first NFL carry (11 yards).
Trent Taylor: Ran the jet sweep twice, rushing 3-19 and caught two passes.
Hayden Hurst battled and won a contested catch early: 5 catch/5 targets/35 yards.
Sacks: 1 of Burrow....Jonah Williams allowed his 9th of the season.
They backed up the fast start of the offense by forcing a three and out on the first three drives by Carolina and then intercepting PJ Walker.
13 players had at least two tackles, led by 6 each from Akeem-Davis Gaither and Markus Bailey.
Benched: Panthers QB Walker (3-10-9 yards, 2 INT) was replaced by Baker Mayfield to start the 2nd half. Mayfield tossed 2 TD and led three TD drives.
Run game: 18 carries/64 yards (3.6).
Eli Apple had a nice pass breakup on the 2nd drive of the game. Jessie Bates and Germaine Pratt had picks.
Struggle: Cam Taylor-Britt was called for a PI, hands to the face and allowed a late TD.
Dax Hill left the game with a right shoulder injury and did not return. Keep an eye on that.
Carolina leading WR DJ Moore: 2-24.
Kevin Hubber (38.3 nex) vs Carolina punter Johnny Hekker (54.0) was a mismatch. Clay Johnston was called for a hold on the opening kickoff. Mike Thomas was called for a block in the back. They allowed a 66-yard punt return. Evan McPherson pushed a 48-yard FG late in the game, after missing a 2 FG and PAT Monday. Trent Taylor took over kick returns after Chris Evans exited early with a knee injury. He had a 27 yard PR.