Cam Newton threw for two touchdowns and ran for two others, Christian McCaffrey racked up a career-high 184 yards rushing and the Carolina Panthers handed the Cincinnati Bengals their first loss of the season 31-21 on Sunday.
Newton completed 15 of 24 passes for 150 yards and ran for 36 yards as the Panthers (2-1) won their seventh straight home game going back to last season.
McCaffrey, who tied a franchise record with 14 receptions last week against Atlanta, did his damage on the ground this time with 28 carries. He surpassed his previous career high of 66 yards rushing and became the first Carolina player in franchise history to post a 100-yard receiving game and a 100-yard rushing game in back-to-back weeks.
Carolina had 230 yards rushing.
Andy Dalton was 29 of 46 with two touchdowns, but was intercepted four times, including twice by rookie cornerback Donte Jackson.
Carolina’s defense, which allowed 432 yards and 31 points to the Falcons last week, held the Bengals (2-1) to 66 yards rushing without Joe Mixon in the lineup.
Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green, who had three touchdowns last week against the Ravens, left the game on the third play in the third quarter with a groin injury and did not return.
Efe Obada, the first player to make a 53-man roster from the recently formed NFL International Pathways Program turned in a huge game in his first NFL appearance, recording an interception, a key fourth-quarter sack and two quarterback pressures on Dalton. One of his pressures was initially ruled sack-fumble in the second quarter, but later overturned by instant replay to an incomplete pass.
The Bengals joined the support of relief efforts for those affected by Hurricane Florence, which has devastated the Carolinas. The Bengals, like the Panthers, will wear stickers that read “One Carolina” on the back of their helmets.
BOYD STEPS UP
Tyler Boyd had a big game for the Bengals with six catches for 132 yards and a touchdown. Gio Bernard had 61 yards rushing on 12 carries and a touchdown and five catches for 25 yards filling in for the injured Mixon.
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.
Panthers: Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly left the game midway through the fourth quarter after getting dehydrated and received an IV in the locker room. Kuechly returned and ended the game with an interception.
Bengals: Visit the Falcons on Sunday.
Panthers: Have a bye next week, then host the Giants on Oct. 7.
Source: The Associated Press