Week 7 Game Recap: Carolina Panthers 14, Cincinnati Bengals 17
What you need to know
Jake Delhomme passed for 238 yards and two touchdowns in a losing effort for Carolina. After leading a 71 yard drive late in the fourth quarter, Delhomme made his lone mistake of the game throwing an interception the end zone ending Carolinaís hope for a comeback victory. The interception was the first of his Panther career inside an opponentís ten yard line. Delhomme threw touchdown passes to Kris Mangum and Nick Goings of seven and 20 yards respectively.
Steve Smith had a busy day with 14 targets and several long gains but did not find the end zone. Smith had eight receptions for 126 yards, mostly in the second half and was the only real offensive threat for Carolina. Smith left the game twice after injuring his bruised ribs but quickly returned to the field.
Carolina was dismal on third down conversions as they converted just two of 11 attempts for the game. The Panthers had five three and out possessions in the game including three in the second half. Carolina had four punts, an interception and the clock run out for the end of the game on their second half possessions.
Tight end Kris Mangum and back-up running back Nick Goings each scored their first touchdown of the season.
Carson Palmer struggled in the first half and failed to lead Cincinnati to a first down on their first four possessions. His numbers were not spectacular as he finished 23 of 39 for 240 yards and two touchdowns but good enough to end Cincinnatiís two game losing streak. Palmer connected with tight end Reggie Kelly for a 16 yard touchdown in the first half and T.J. Houshmandzadeh on a one yard strike which proved to be the game winner. Palmer orchestrated two 13 play touchdown drives of 80 and 86 yards chewing up value time on the clock and keeping Carolina quick strike offense off the field.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh led the way receiving for Cincinnati with seven catches for 61 yards and a touchdown. Chad Johnson contributed with six catches for 73 yards. Houshmandzadeh and Johnson combined for 26 targets from Palmer, most of them in the second half. Johnson made the play of the game for Cincinnati hauling in a diving 32 yard pass from Palmer on a crucial fourth and one play.
Tight ends Reggie Kelly and Tony Stewart combined for five receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown.
Defensive back Kevin Kaesviharn tallied his second interception of the season as he picked off a Jake Delhomme pass in the end zone with a 3:57 remaining to derail a 71 yard drive that had taken the Panthers to the Cincinnati ten yard line.
What you ought to know
Delhomme took to the air early throwing 11 passes on the Panthersí first three possessions. He led Carolina to an early lead with a nine play, 66 yard drive that concluded with a seven yard touchdown pass to Mangum. Delhomme threw his second touchdown of the half to a wide open Nick Goings in the end zone with 47 seconds left in the half. He was 20 of 34 in the game for 238 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Delhomme had a chance to answer Cincinnatiís late score but came up one throw short for another comeback win by Carolina. Delhommeís two big pass plays to Smith and a 15 yard run by Foster quickly put Carolina with a first and goal situation and a chance to win. After two incomplete passes, Delhomme targeted Keyshawn Johnson in the back of the end zone but Cincinnatiís Kevin Kaesviharn stepped in front of Johnson for the interception ending the Carolina comeback.
Foster had a couple of nice runs showing good vision and speed finding holes in the line of scrimmage. He had three carries of 11 yards or more but had several others for a loss or no gain. Foster finished the game with 14 carries for 59 yards. He added two catches for 20 yards out of the backfield.
|RB Nick Goings, Rush: 2 - 1 - 0, Rec: 1 - 20 - 1 (1 targets)|
Goings was productive in limited playing time catching a 20 yard touchdown pass from Delhomme shortly before halftime. Aided by blown coverage by the Bengalsí, Goings found himself wide open down the right sideline as he lined up as a wide out for the easy touchdown. Goings had two carries for one yard on the ground.
Hoover caught his only two targets for 20 yards each for a first down.
Williams was inactive for the game with an ankle injury.
Once again, Smith was the spark in Carolina offense with eight receptions for 126 yards but failed to find the end zone this week. Smithís biggest gain of the game came on a leaping grab over the middle that netted 36 yards for Carolina. Smith left the field and went into the locker room as trainers taped up his bruised ribs suffered in the first quarter. He returned on the next series for Carolina. In the fourth quarter, he left again left the field after apparently aggravating the rib injury but quickly returned after sitting out a play.
Johnson was targeted frequently in this game but showed limited production with just four receptions for 41 yards. He did have an end zone target on Delhommeís lone interception. Delhomme showed his frustration on the interception as it appeared he expected Johnson to cross the back of the end zone in front of the defender versus behind him, thus creating an easy turnover for Cincinnati.
Colbert had an early fourth quarter target that fell incomplete.
Carter was shutout in the game with no receptions. He had just two targets thrown his way including a deep target that was overthrown.
Mangum caught all three of his targets for 11 yards including a seven yards touchdown grab to give Carolina the early lead. With his second effort lunge, Mangum just barely broke the plane of the goal line for his first touchdown of the season. Cincinnati challenged the score claiming Mangumís knee was down prior to breaking the plane but the touchdown was upheld after review.
Kasay made both of his extra point attempts. He had no field goal attempts in the game.
The Panthers held Rudi Johnson to zero yards rushing in the first quarter but Johnson gashed Carolina for 101 yards the remainder of the game. Although they did not allow a rushing touchdown, Carolinaís defense showed some fatigue in the second half with several missed tackles. Rookie linebacker James Anderson led the Panthers with nine combined tackles.
The Panthersí defense put pressure on Palmer with the blitz in the first half and held him to just 56 yards passing yards and a 16 yard touchdown pass. Palmer finished with 240 yards and two touchdowns in the game. Damione Lewis and Chris Draft each recorded a sack for Carolina.
|QB Carson Palmer, Pass: 23 - 39 - 240 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 6 - 0|
Palmer was under plenty of pressure early on from the Carolina pass rush and was unable to look downfield for his potent wide receiver tandem of Johnson and Houshmanzadeh. The pressure forced Palmer to dump passes off to his back or short attempts over the middle to his tight end Reggie Kelly. Although he threw a touchdown pass in the first half to Kelley, Palmer rebounded in the second half as his offensive line allowed him more time in the pocket which resulted in several deep targets downfield. Palmer looked spectacular leading the Bengals on the game winning drive completing eight of nine pass attempts for 93 yards culminating with a one yard bullet to Houshmandzadeh for the score. The key pass of the drive was on critical fourth and one play that Palmer went for broke and hit Chad Johnson deep down the right sideline for a 32 yard gain. He finished the game completing 23 of 39 pass attempts for 240 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
|RB Rudi Johnson, Rush: 26 - 101 - 0, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (1 targets)|
Johnson started off slow with no rushing yards in the first quarter on just a couple of carries. Cincinnati continued to pound Johnson inside and finally found some success midway through the second quarter on the Bengals first scoring drive with six carries for 27 yards. Johnsonís longest run was a 21 yard burst that helped set up a field goal by Graham. He finished the game with 26 carries for 101 yards. Johnson caught his only target for a four yard gain.
|RB Chris Perry, Rush: 2 - 4 - 0, Rec: 3 - 26 - 0 (4 targets)|
Perry saw his first action of the season and was effective as on third down as a receiver. He caught three passes out of the backfield for 25 yards. He had just two rushing attempts for four yards.
With the return of teammate Chris Perry, Watson saw limited action with just one target in the game which was thrown out of bounds.
Houshmandzadeh along with Johnson saw 13 targets from Palmer but struggled in the first half with just one catch for four yards. He and Palmer were in sync in the second half as he hauled in six passes for 57 yards and the game winning touchdown. Palmer drilled a one yard pass into the hands of Houshmandzadeh over the middle midway through the fourth quarter to give Cincinnati the lead for good. Houshmandzadeh leads the team with four receiving touchdowns.
Johnson led the Bengals with 73 yards including a spectacular diving grab for a 32 yard gain on fourth and one early in the fourth quarter. Johnsonís facial expressions showed his frustration with the passing game in the first half with just two catches for ten yards. In the second half, Johnson was all smiles as he saw plenty of targets and caught four passes for 63 yards. Johnson has gone four games now without a touchdown.
Chatman caught his only target of the game for a nine yard pick-up and a first down on Cincinnatiís game winning touchdown drive.
With Johnson and Houshmandzadeh shutdown in the first half, Kelly was the leading receiver for Cincinnati with two receptions for 25 yards. Kelly scored his first touchdown of the season when he was left wide open over the middle for a 16 yards score from Palmer.
Back-up tight end Stewart had two second half receptions for 33 yards including a 19 yard gain with the Bengals deep in their own territory to set up a third and short situation.
Graham hit his only field goal attempts from 23 yards out. He was a perfect on both extra point attempts.
The Bengalsí rush defense effectively bottled up the middle of the line of scrimmage an held DeShaun Foster to just 59 yards, forcing him outside the tackles. The defense really stepped it up in the second half holding Carolina to just 13 yards on the ground and not allowing a rushing touchdown in the game. Safety Madieu Williams and linebacker Caleb Miller lead the defense with seven combined tackles each.
The Bengalsí pass defense gave up two first half touchdown to Delhomme but shutdown the pass attack in the second half. Cincinnati did give up some big gains to Carolinaís Steve Smith in the second half but fortunately kept Smith out of the end zone. The Bengals allowed 238 passing yards for the game and sacked Delhomme three times. Rookie linebacker Ahmad Brooks recorded his first career sack for Cincinnati. Defensive back Kevin Kaesviharn saved the game for Cincinnati with an interception in the end zone late in the fourth quarter to thwart a Carolina comeback.