Carolina Panthers: 3 Takeaways from Week 3 Win vs. Bengals

Carolina Panthers, Christian McCaffrey
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers began the 2018 NFL season with a 16-8 win over the Dallas Cowboys. However, they suffered a disappointing 31-24 loss to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 2.

With the Cincinnati Bengals coming to Charlotte in Week 3, there were questions about how the Panthers would play. But they impressed in all phases of the game on Sunday, coming away with a 31-21 win over the previously undefeated Bengals.

On offense, the duo of quarterback Cam Newton and running back Christian McCaffrey performed at a high level once again. Not only that, but the Panthers’ beleaguered offensive line protected Newton and opened holes for Carolina’s ball carriers.

The Panthers’ defense almost looked much more like itself than a week ago. Carolina collected four interceptions against Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, who only threw one interception over the first two weeks. One of those picks came from linebacker Luke Kuechly in the end zone on the final play of the game.

The special teams also deserves a shout-out after kicker Graham Gano made all four of his extra point attempts and drilled a 40-yard field goal that pushed the Panthers’ lead to 10 in the closing minutes. Additionally, punter Michael Palardy punted four times for an average of 41.3 yards per punt, including three that landed inside the Bengals’ 20-yard line.

Things don’t get much better than they did for the Panthers against a good team like the Bengals on Sunday. It was an important win for them as they enter their bye week, which precedes another home game against the New York Giants on Oct. 7.

Here are three takeaways from the Panthers’ Week 3 win over the Bengals.

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