Sep 21, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) against the Tennessee Titans at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 33-7. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
In a game that should have seen their run defense take a step forward with the return of linebacker Vontaze Burfict, the Cincinnati Bengals instead watched Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton scamper 107 yards on 16 carries on the way to a wild finish in overtime that left both teams wanting more. When the dust had cleared, the score stood 37-37, a kiss-your-sister tie that opens a Wikipedia’s worth of questions as Cincinnati prepares to play the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium next week.
This game was back and forth all afternoon, with Carolina leading after the first and third quarters, and the Bengals leading at halftime. Big plays carried the day, with Cincy running back scoring on an 89-yard carry in the second quarter, and Panthers cornerback Antoine Cason picking off an Andy Dalton pass for an 80-yard return that set up a Carolina touchdown two plays later.
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Dalton had an up-and-down day, completing 34 of 44 passes for 323 yards and two touchdowns, but he also threw two interceptions and was sacked once.
Newton also threw for a pair of scores, against one pick, and he also ran for a touchdown.
Burfict looked solid in his return, recording seven solo tackles, including one for a loss.
Each team scored a TD and a field goal with less that five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, including Graham Gano’s 36-yard boot as time expired to keep the Panthers alive and send the game into overtime.
In OT, the teams traded field goals, and then the Bengals marched into the red zone with less than 40 seconds remaining. However, Mike Nugent’s own 36-yard attempt went wide right with two seconds remaining, and the game ended in a tie.