The Bengals left last Monday’s loss to the Browns with a bad taste in their mouths and took out their frustrations on the Panthers this Sunday.
Running back Joe Mixon capped the first Bengals drive with a touchdown run and he would score four more times before the end of the third quarter of the game. That left him one short of the NFL record for touchdowns in a single game, but it was more than enough to power the Bengals to a 42-21 rout of their NFC South opponents.
The Bengals were up 35-0 at halftime as Mixon got four of his scores in the first 30 minutes of play. He added the fifth after Baker Mayfield led the Panthers to their first score of the day and Cincinnati mostly went with backups on both sides of the ball for the rest of the day.
Mixon is the first Bengals player to score five touchdowns in a single game.
Quarterback Joe Burrow also ran for a touchdown and went 22-of-28 for 206 yards before Brandon Allen played out the string. Mixon ran 22 times for 153 yards and four scores while adding four catches for 58 yards in the passing game.
Mayfield replaced P.J. Walker after halftime as the Panthers offense was a complete train wreck in the first half. They gained 32 yards, turned the ball over three times, and gained their only first down on a Bengals defensive penalty.
The operation was more effective with Mayfield in the game, although it was such a laugher at that point that it is hard to know how much to read into that success. He finished 14-of-20 for 155 yards and two touchdowns in a performance that will lead to questions for interim head coach Steve Wilks about who will start for his 2-7 team against the Falcons on Thursday night.
The Bengals, who are now 5-4, will have no decisions to make about Week 10 lineups as they’ll have a bye before returning to face the Steelers in Week 11.