The Panthers are down 7-0, and Jimmy Clausen's had better days.
Clausen's 1-of-4 passing for 14 yards, with a pick and a fumble.
He was set up perfectly on his first possession, with a Captain Munnerlyn interception giving him the ball at his own 47.
Then a 26-yard run by DeAngelo Williams gave him a chance at getting easy points, but he fumbled his third snap as a starter and the Bengals recovered.
Cincinnati went up 7-0 on a touchdown by Cedric Benson, which followed a tough second series for Clausen. When a punt pinned them at their own 4, the Panthers ran three straight times, which the crowd didn't like.
But with a rookie QB and one reliable WR, what did you expect John Fox to do? He wasn't going to expose Clausen to undue risk there.
The Bengals drive was helped along by a pair of calls the home crowd didn't like. An apparent fumble by Terrell Owens was called off when officials granted him forward progress, which can't be challenged.
Then Jordan Pugh was called for a pass interferense in the end zone, setting up Benson's score.
From there, Bengals QB Carson Palmer and Clausen traded picks (Palmer's having an awful day), and the quarter ended, mercifully.
-- Darin Gantt