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article imageNFL: Dalton outduels Newton in Bengals 24-13 victory

By Austin Tyler     Aug 26, 2011 in Sports
Two NFL rookies took to the field today to do battle in a pre-season game, one was the number one pick overall, and the other was the 35 pick in the second round. In the end, they both took steps tonight to be the face of their respective organizations.
The Cincinnati Bengals hosted the Carolina Panthers in the third game of their respective pre-seasons. The Bengals have been struggling with some big losses in the first two weeks, while the Bengals have not won since Week 1. Cam Newton and Andy Dalton are both in a position to be starters for the teams, but tonight Dalton took advantage of his opportunity by leading the Bengals to victory.
The Bengals started out with the ball and moved it 24-yards in 10 plays, but on a handoff Andy Dalton (11/17, 130 yards, 1 TD) mishandled it and fumbled the ball. Chris Gamble of the Panthers recovered the ball given their offense some good field position.
The Panthers took over with a short field to work with and Cam Newton (6/19, 75 yards) took advantage as he moved them down the field. Newton drove the Panthers 46-yards on 8 plays to get the first score of the game. Newton (4 carries, 49 yards, 1 TD) on a scramble ran the ball 16-yards for the game’s first touchdown. He was known for that in college and showed it last night giving the Panthers a 7-0 lead.
Cincinnati answered back with a drive of their own that covered 80-yards on 15 plays in 8:22. Most of the impact on the drive was dealt by running back Cedric Benson (16 carries, 68 yards, 1 TD). Benson had 11 carries on this drive as he rushed for 53-yards, and had a catch for 15-yards. Benson capped of the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run that tied the game up at 7 points apiece.
Carolina’s next drive was tough as they were only able to move the ball 10-yards in 6 plays before having to punt the ball away. Dalton (11/17, 130 yards, 1 TD) and the Bengals took advantage and moved the ball 63-yards to score on their next drive. Dalton was the key on this drive as he threw the ball just twice, and his second pass was to A.J. Green (2 receptions, 45 yards, 1 TD) for a touchdown. Dalton hit Green on a 40-yard pass that lead to the Bengals’ second touchdown and a 14-7 lead.
The Panthers’ next drive was tough also as they were forced to punt the ball away after just 6 plays and 31-yards. The Bengals took over after the punt and looked like they were not going to be able to score either. They got put in a fourth down situation and had to punt. Kevin Hubar punted the ball, but Armanti Edwards muffed the catch and the Bengals recovered. With good field position the Bengals scored on the next play with a 12-yard run by Bernard Scott (6 carries, 63 yards, 1 TD). Scott’s touchdown gave the Bengals a 21-7 lead.
The Panthers continued to struggle behind Newton who could not move the ball after hitting Greg Olson (1 receptions, 28 yards) for a 28-yards catch. After the pass, Newton had two incomplete passes and a sack that loss 6-yards forcing them to punt the ball. With .51 second left Dalton moved the Bengals 37-yards and Mike Nugent came in to kick a 55-yard field-goal. Nugent’s kick left .8 seconds on the board and gave the Bengals a 24-7 lead. Newton took a knee to end the half.
Carolina got the ball to start the second half and Newton got a good return from Trent Guy that set them up with decent field position. Newton moved them 40-yards before Orlindo Mare came in to kick a 42-yard field-goal. The field-goal made the score 24-10. The Bengals were on the move to open their second half drive behind Brad Gradkowski (7/10, 40 yards), but Brian Leonard fumbled. Leonard fumbled the ball away and Carolina’s Everette Brown recovered the ball.
Newton could not get the Panthers in the endzone so Mare had to come on to kick another field-goal. Mare’s field-goal made it a 24-13 game that ended the scoring for both teams in the third quarter. Neither Brad Gradkowski nor Jimmy Clausen (4/7, 35 yards) could move their respective teams into scoring position or sustain a drive long enough to score.
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