Final

Panthers 13

(1-2, 0-2 away)

Bengals 24

(1-2, 1-0 home)

7:00 PM ET, August 25, 2011

Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH 

1 2 3 4 T
CAR 7 0 6 013
CIN 0 24 0 024

Andy Dalton outshines Cam Newton in battle of rookie QBs

Associated Press

CINCINNATI -- Carolina rookie quarterback Cam Newton took a step back on his road to NFL stardom.

Cincinnati's Andy Dalton, another rookie, took a huge leap forward.

Dalton, Cincinnati's second-round draft pick from Texas Christian, led four first-half scoring drives and the Bengals held on for a 24-13 preseason victory Thursday night.

Dalton was an efficient 11 of 17 for 130 yards and a touchdown for Cincinnati (1-2), putting together a 107.5 quarterback rating, a vast improvement over the 30.9 figure he took into the game. He credited a running game that finished with 191 yards, 63 in the first quarter, which he said helped open up the passing game.

Cedric Benson gained 68 yards on 16 carries, all in the first half, and Bernard Scott gained all 63 of his yards on six carries in the second quarter.

"We came out running the ball well," said Dalton, who didn't play in the second half. "We had some miscues we need to fix, but we were able to bounce back. The way we were running the ball, they had to stack the box, and we were able to take advantage."

"The big thing is we've got to continue to run the football," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said.

Newton, the overall No. 1 pick by Carolina (1-2), went into the game with a 65.2 quarterback rating after two games. He rushed for 41 yards in the first half, including a 16-yard scramble for a touchdown. He played the first three series of the third quarter before giving way to second-year quarterback Jimmy Clausen and finished 6 for 19 for 75 yards and a 44.8 rating.

"It's unacceptable on my part," he said. "I've got to make the proper reads and get in a comfort zone. Third-and-long is not a situation we want to be in. A checkdown is not a bad thing."

First-year coach Ron Rivera refused to pin all the blame on his prized rookie.

"I thought he had his moments," Rivera said. "He felt the pressure at times. At times, we didn't help him. We have to protect better, he has to make better reads. It was great to see Cam in an extended role, but he has a long ways to go."

Newton reverted to the Heisman Trophy-winning style he used while leading Auburn to last year's national championship to account for his first touchdown as a pro.

After Carolina cornerback Chris Gamble recovered a Benson fumble at the Cincinnati 46, Newton led Carolina on a six-play scoring drive. He completed just one of four passes on the possession, but he capped it by scrambling 16 yards for the score. Cornerback Jonathan Wade hit Newton at about the 2-yard line, but Newton spun out of Wade's grasp and dived into the end zone with 6:17 left in the first quarter.

The Panthers gained possession because Dalton and Benson miscommunicated on a handoff, producing Cincinnati's sixth turnover of the preseason. The touchdown lifted opponents' combined advantage over the Bengals in points off turnovers to 34-0.

Dalton and Benson shook off the fumble to lead the Bengals on their most impressive drive of the preseason. Dalton was 3 of 4 for 27 yards and Benson carried the ball 11 times for 53 yards, including a 1-yard run around left end for a touchdown to tie it.

They took their first lead on their next possession with Dalton finding fellow rookie A.J. Green for a 40-yard touchdown.

"It's like a dream come true," said Green, Cincinnati's top pick and the overall No. 4 selection. "I've been thinking about it all day, honestly -- 'When am I going to get my first TD?"

The Bengals followed up by converting their first takeaway of the year into another score. Armanti Edwards fumbled a punt, Manny Lawson recovered for Cincinnati at the Carolina 12, and Scott went untouched around left end on the next play for a 21-7 lead with 1:29 left in the half.

The Bengals got one more possession with 51 seconds left in the half and Dalton completed four consecutive passes for 37 yards, setting up Mike Nugent's 55-yard field goal with eight seconds remaining.

"That was big for me, and that was big for the offense to get into the two-minute drill," Dalton said. "You have to make sure everybody's on the same page, and we did a great job of doing that."

Game notes


Gamble, an Ohio State product, left the game in the second quarter with a dislocated thumb and did not return. "They put it back in," Rivera said. "He'll get it treated, and he should be back." ... Bengals TE Bo Scaife left the game in the first two minutes with a right shoulder injury. He did not return. ... Nugent's 55-yard field goal doesn't count in the team record books, but it matched the official record -- Chris Bahr's kick against the then-Houston Oilers on Sept. 23, 1979. ... The attendance was announced at 41,735 in 65,515-seat Paul Brown Stadium.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
CAR
CIN
1st Downs1121
Passing 1st downs
77
Rushing 1st downs
414
1st downs from Penalties
00
3rd down efficiency
5-156-13
4th down efficiency
1-11-1
Total Plays5469
Total Yards203356
Yards per play3.85.2
Total Drives1112
Passing95165
Comp - Att
10-2618-27
Yards per pass
3.76.1
Interceptions thrown
00
Sacks - Yards Lost
3-151-5
Rushing108191
Rushing Attempts
2541
Yards per rush
4.34.7
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-12-2
Penalties7-447-60
Turnovers12
Fumbles lost
12
Interceptions thrown
00
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession25:4734:13

Passing Leaders

CARC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Newton6/19753.9002-6
Clausen4/7355.0001-9
CINC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Dalton11/171307.6100-0
Gradkowski7/10404.0001-5

Rushing Leaders

CARCARYDSAVGTDLG
Newton44912.3126
Williams5275.4018
CINCARYDSAVGTDLG
Benson16684.3112
Scott66310.5117

Receiving Leaders

CARRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Olsen12828.00282
Shockey22110.50152
CINRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Gresham44912.30215
Green24522.51405

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERCARCIN
carTD06:17Cam Newton 16 Yd Run (Olindo Mare Kick) 70
SECOND QUARTERCARCIN
cinTD12:55Cedric Benson 1 Yd Run (Mike Nugent Kick) 77
cinTD07:43A.J. Green 40 Yd Pass From Andy Dalton (Mike Nugent Kick) 714
cinTD01:29Bernard Scott 12 Yd Run (Thomas Weber Kick) 721
cinFG00:08Mike Nugent 55 Yd 724
THIRD QUARTERCARCIN
carFG11:06Olindo Mare 42 Yd 1024
carFG07:40Olindo Mare 38 Yd 1324

Research Notes

In the first quarter, Cedric Benson rushed 12 times for 55 yards for the Bengals. During the regular season last year, only Rashard Mendenhall and Adrian Peterson were the only RB to rush at least 12 times in the first quarter of a single game.
Cam Newton: 16-yard Rush TD for 7-0 Panthers lead in 1st quarter. During the 2010 regular season, the Panthers did not have a rush TD from their quarterbacks.

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