Carolina Panthers: Top takeaways from 31-21 victory over the Bengals

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Carolina Panthers: Top takeaways from 31-21 victory over the Bengals

Christian McCaffrey last week tied a franchise record for receptions in a game with 14 that had previously been held only by Steve Smith (14 catches in 2005 against Chicago). ". This is not a fluke". "We had moments where we played it perfectly".

Still, Cincinnati's struggles against the run should be of some concern heading into next Sunday's game at Atlanta, which traditionally has one of the best running games in the National Football League behind running backs Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman - although Freeman has missed the last two games with an injury.

McCaffrey said the labels "definitely" bother him, but has learned to deal with them.

Meanwhile, the Bengals had to play the second half without star receiver A.J. Green, who went out with a groin injury, and Cincinnati never could get its run game going. He may be limited in practice but expects to play against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 4.

"It's hard to take me away in the slot when I have so much freedom because I have much have so much freedom to run all over the place", Green said. "I will get that corrected". Obada registered a sack and interception while Jackson picked Dalton twice during the game. Carolina had four interceptions Sunday, including two by rookie cornerback Donte Jackson, but those plays don't come as a result of the secondary alone. One of his pressures was initially ruled sack-fumble in the second quarter, but later overturned by instant replay to an incomplete pass.

After two wins to open the season 2-0, the Cincinnati Bengals were riding high and mighty. Newton enters Sunday with a 66-50-1 career record and is one of four Panthers' quarterbacks with 20 or more victories; Jake Delhomme (58-40 from 2003 to 2009), Steve Beuerlein (23-28 from 1996 to 2000) and Kerry Collins (22-21 from 1995 to 1998) are the others. After a strip sack, Newton beat three Bengals players to the ball to maintain possession.

The Panthers ran three more plays to drain the clock, and they kicked the clinching field goal with 1:11 to go.

Bengals: Aside from Green, nose tackle Ryan Glasgow was carted off the field in the fourth quarter with a lower right leg injury and did not return.

Bengals: Visit the Falcons next Sunday. He also had a 49-yard catch for the game's longest play. "We have to get guys back, keep guys healthy", Newton said of the Panthers' upcoming bye week.

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