The momentum began to shift during a methodical fifteen-play, 80-yard drive that stretched over eight minutes to begin the quarter, culminating in a one-yard touchdown run by Cedric Benson.
After the Panthers again failed to get anything going, Andy Dalton and the Bengals' offense took back over at their own 37-yard line. Three plays later the 2011 Cincinnati draft class was on full display, as the young quarterback hooked up with first-round pick A.J. Green for a spectacular 40-yard, rookie-to-rookie touchdown that gave the Bengals their first lead of the game.
Two ill-fated drives later the Panthers made yet another bungle, as Armanti Edwards muffed a Cincinnati punt that was quickly recovered by Manny Lawson at the Carolina 12-yard line. Bernard Scott took the ensuing handoff 12-yards for the easy score.
Dalton came through one final time as the quarter came to a close. With just 51 seconds left, the rookie engineered a seven-play, 37-yard drive that reached the Carolina 37-yard line. Mike Nugent capped the run, nailing a 55-yard field goal that put the Bengals up 24-7 as the game headed into halftime.
Andy Dalton is running an efficient offense, throwing 11-for-17 for 130 yards and a touchdown. Cam Newton, on the hand, is struggling immensely as the Panthers continually fail to sustain drives. The number one overall pick is just 3-for-12 with 43 yards and two sacks.