Joe Mixon scored four first-half touchdowns and the Cincinnati Bengals dominated the visiting Carolina Panthers early while finishing off a 42-21 victory Sunday.
Mixon rushed for his first three scores and caught a touchdown pass just before halftime.
Joe Burrow was 22 of 28 for 206 yards and a touchdown for the Bengals (5-4), who led 35-0 at halftime. Burrow also ran for a second-quarter touchdown.
Mixon gained 153 yards on 22 carries and had four catches for 58 receiving yards.
Baker Mayfield threw two touchdown passes in relief for the Panthers (2-7), who failed to bounce back after their overtime loss a week earlier at Atlanta.
Mayfield was 14 of 20 for 190 yards after starter PJ Walker went 3 of 10 for 9 yards with two interceptions in the first half.
The Panthers managed just 228 yards of total offense.
It was such a dominating first half for Cincinnati that when the Bengals pulled ahead 21-0 midway through the second quarter, the Panthers had just 15 yards of total offense.
At halftime, Cincinnati’s edge in yards was at 311-32. That involved a 21-1 margin in first downs.
The Bengals marched 90 yards in nine plays on the game’s opening possession, with Mixon scoring on a 2-yard run. In the first minute of the second quarter, Burrow capped a 10-play drive with a 1-yard plunge.
The Bengals made it 21-0 on Mixon’s 3-yard run with 7:29 to play in the first half, concluding another nine-play drive.
Two plays later, Bengals linebacker Germaine Pratt intercepted Walker. That pickoff came against his home-state team and marked the fourth-year player’s second career interception.
The turnover led to Mixon’s 1-yard TD run. He caught a 12-yard TD throw from Burrow with 12 seconds to play in the first half. That was set up following Jessie Bates III’s interception.
Mixon had 171 yards of total offense in the first half.
The Panthers dropped to 1-3 under interim coach Steve Wilks following the firing of Matt Rhule.
–Field Level Media