Instant analysis after Bengals rout Panthers 42-21

The Cincinnati Bengals ran the Carolina Panthers out of Paycor Stadium on Sunday to the tune of a 42-21 rout.

Bengals running back Joe Mixon set a franchise record with five total touchdowns in a game that had a 35-0 line by halftime.

Cincinnati desperately needed a win before heading to the bye next week, though few would have predicted a blowout like this. Here’s a look at quick notes and numbers to know from the win.

 

Quick Hits

— Bengals had a rough start with a penalty on the opening kickoff, yet it wasn’t a sign of things to come.

— Instead, Joe Burrow was in rhythm from the pocket and an embattled Joe Mixon-led running attack effectively moved down the field for a score on the opening drive.

— It was blatant very early that the running game was, in a word, unstoppable. Mixon did whatever he wanted on the ground, as did backups such as Samaje Perine.

— Mixon had four total touchdowns by the half as the Bengals jumped to a 35-0 lead.

— Zac Taylor’s gameplan looked much improved (suggesting the team might overthink the Browns).

— Bengals had some serious injury concerns in this one:

— Burrow left the game in the third quarter with a comfortable 42-7 lead.

— Jessie Bates got in on the fun with a pick, as did Germaine Pratt.

— Games like these are a great way for backups to get reps. Linemen Hakeem Adeniji and Max Scharping were out there flashing at times.

— There’s reason for concern with rookies Dax Hill and Cam Taylor-Britt given their rough showings over the last two weeks. The latter was in position to make a play on the football in the endzone in the fourth quarter but instead got Moss’d, giving up the touchdown.

 

Key Stat

5: Mixon’s total touchdown count by game’s end, a franchise record. He ran for 153 yards on 22 carries with four scores and added another four catches for 58 yards with a score through the air.

 

Game Balls

RB Joe Mixon: Who else? The man who had fans wondering if he should see less time on the field was a monster on Sunday. That doesn’t quiet some of the concerns about his struggles in pass blocking, but it sure helped the team make up for the lack of Ja’Marr Chase.

QB Joe Burrow: Going a cool 22-of-28 with two total touchdowns was a nice day at the office. His rhythm and accuracy while commanding the offense played a part in the ground game being so open.

 

Top Takeaway

Steady wins it: This might sound weird, but the Bengals can’t take too much away from this one. They’ve been beating the NFC South soundly this year and the Panthers started this one looking disinterested at best. The signs of life for the ground game were nice, but it will have to translate against AFC North opponents, as they’re already 0-3 in the division.

List

Key players and storylines to watch in Panthers vs. Bengals

Story originally appeared on Bengals Wire