Live Blog: Panthers vs. Bengals

— Welp that is all folks. Panthers lose 24-13 to the Bengals. Team is now 1-2 in the preseason, with a lot left to fix before the season starts. Check back tomorrow for a full recap of the game and my thoughts on what I liked and didn’t like.

–Whoa! Was that Steve Smith counseling Jimmy Clausen? I thought he hated him.

–Clausen looks horrible even against the backups.

–At this point I go with Newton as the starter. I think he shows he can make those big plays. The passing will come as will the consistency.

–And Clausen goes down for a sack. He just doesn’t quiet have that speed Newton does.

–Newton’s final line: 6 of 19 for 75 yards with zero INTs and zero TD passes. He rushed for 49 yards and one TD

–Clausen now in the ball game.

–One optimistic thing I have seen in the second half. The defense has stepped its game up a lot.

–Panthers fail to convert on third down, settle for a field goal by Olindo Mare. 24-10 Bengals.

–Nice fourth down conversion there.  A little quick pass to Shockey for a first down.

–One thing Newton has looked pretty bad throwing the ball, but the offensive line has not done him any favors today. He hasn’t had much time at all.

–Guy with a nice return almost takes it to the house, but kicker trips him up. Panthers ball right at midfield. Newton still in.

–A couple of observations

  1. Newton needs to be more consistent passing. He has run the ball well today but looks awful passing the ball. He most of his balls are sailing high.
  2. The defense can’t stop the run. So far the Bengals have 139 rushing yards on 25 rushing attempts. The interior defense line is getting shoved all over the place.
  3. Special teams have things to work on. Armanti Edwards muffed a punt and the whole unit has way to many penalties so far.

— Halftime…. that was rough there. After a nice TD run by Newton it was all down hill. Panthers still have a lot to do.

–Field goal good for Bengals. Now a 17 point game, 24-7.

–Newton crushed on a corner blitz. Never had a chance there.

–Don’t know who that pass was for. Olsen attempted to catch it but it may have been to LaFell.

–Trent Guy doesn’t look like he could break a tackle in a peewee game. Lets see what Pilares or Edwards can do from back there.

–That was quick. Next play after the muffed punt is a score for Bengals. 21-7 yikes.

–And there is what we have been waiting for all preseason. Edwards muffs punt and Bengals recover.

–By the way if you haven’t followed us on Twitter you are missing out. Check us out @CatCraveblog

–Gamble has been replaced by CJ Wilson at corner. I don’t know if it is due to injury or play, but Gamble looked horrendous.

–This is getting a bit ridiculous. Bengals have 23 rush attempts, good for 5.1 yards a pop.

–Long, long run for Newton there. He ran for about 30 yards without a single Bengal in sight.

–Huge touchdown pass for Bengals. AJ Green burns Gamble again, but stays in bounds this time. 14-7 Bengals.

–I don’t know how good of a receiver Charly Martin is, but the man can play some special teams. Remains me of a young Karl Hankerton

–That was a lot of running for an incomplete pass. Newton missed Smith. he was open for a while, just waited to long.

–Nice conversion on third down. Newton hits Naanee and he reaches out for the first.

–Benson waltzs in the endzone easy to tie the game at seven. The Panthers may have a real problem on their hands if they can’t stop the run.

–After one quarter: Panthers 7 Bengals 0.

–Panthers run game defense looks putrid a ton of arm tackling. Defensive tackle is still a glaring weakness.

–But there is a challenge. Green looks to have forgot that he isn’t playing in college anymore and has to get two feet down and not one.

–Gamble just got beat like a drum by rookie wide receiver AJ Green.

–Holy hold…. Thomas Davis just got held and then pancaked into the ground.

–Connor is a good middle linebacker, but he is not Jon Beason. Just not as quick and lacks that fire out on the field.

–And that is why Newton was the number one pick. Holy athleticism. He scrambles, makes two defenders miss then runs over a third for a touchdown.

–Whew so close. Newton throws a strike to Smith in the endzone but it is a tad deep and Smith can’t get both feet down.

–Newton looks bad in his first two passes. Both sailed high.

–Williams with a nice run there for about 20 yards. He is quick.

–Cam Time. Lets see if the young quarterback can make this turnover hurt.

–FUMBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Looked like a busted play and Chris Gamble falls on the football. That is one more play then he made all of last season.

–Everette Brown almost gets the sack and gets holding call. Nice play there for Brown who has had a rough start this season.

–Charles Johnson kills that third down, jumps early giving Bengals easy conversion on third and inches.

— James Anderson already seems to be everywhere today. Man wants to earn that money.

–This is the closest thing we have seen to a complete Panther defense. Beason is the only one missing.

—  Mike Rucker, great player… decent at best announcer.

–Alright we are about an hour out from game time. This is going to be a huge game for the young quarterback Cam Netwon. This is his second career start and he should see time well into the third quarter.

— This should be a game the Panthers should win. They are much, much more talented than the Bengals in my opinion.

–By the way, if you haven’t heard the Panthers claimed Kentwan Balmer today from the Seattle Seahawks. Balmer is a former first round pick out of North Carolina. The defensive tackle was cut from two teams since being drafted in 2009, the 49ers and Seahawks. He is a low risk, high reward player if he can turn things around. The Panthers are weak at defensive tackle, so it should be a good opportunity for him. For more information on the signings check out Seth McConnell’s story on the move.

— Also, Seth has written his keys to the game today. Check that out here.

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