The Carolina Panthers travel to take on the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 9. Neither team is playing as we expected. Since firing coach Matt Rhule, the Panthers (2-6) have improved and become far more competitive. With various injuries, the Bengals (4-4) are plummeting after a 32-13 loss to the Cleveland Browns.
Cincinnati is in a must-win situation. Every game matters in the AFC playoff race. Carolina will come in swinging, looking to pull off the upset. Who will rule the jungle on Sunday afternoon?
Carolina Staying Competitive
After a 1-4 start, the Carolina Panthers fired Rhule. Afterward, trade rumors swirled around the team. Carolina sent wideout Robbie Anderson to the Arizona Cardinals and running back Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers. With the trade deadline approaching, many expected the Panthers to be big-time sellers, positioning themselves for a major rebuild. Instead, Carolina did not make another trade. So far, it looks like the correct decision.
Trading major defensive pieces like defensive end Brian Burns and cornerback Jaycee Horn would have been silly. These are budding stars with immense potential. Plus, the loss of McCaffrey is not as major as everyone made it to be. Running back is the most replaceable position in football. Since trading the former All-Pro, running back D’Onta Foreman has totaled 236 rushing yards on 5.8 yards per carry over the last two games.
Naming P.J. Walker as starting quarterback has been a huge lift. Baker Mayfield was dreadful and greatly limited the offense. In the last two games, Walker had a 126.5 passer rating in the 21-3 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and delivered clutch plays against the Atlanta Falcons, including a 62-yard touchdown to D.J. Moore with 12 seconds on the clock.
PJ WALKER JUST DID THAT. HAIL MARY TO DJ MOORE. pic.twitter.com/dDYwoZhaGG
— NFL (@NFL) October 30, 2022
During last season’s remarkable Super Bowl run, the Cincinnati Bengals were one of the NFL’s most healthy teams. Cincinnati has not received that same luck this season.
Defensive tackle D.J. Reader, one of the NFL’s best-run stuffers, has missed several weeks (knee). Plus, the Bengals’ top linebacker, Logan Wilson, has dealt with a shoulder injury. Ahead of Week 8’s battle with the Cleveland Browns, Cincy announced superstar wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase would miss several games with a hip injury. Against the Browns, top cornerback Chidobe Awuzie suffered a season-ending knee injury.
The Bengals cannot catch a break on the injury front. The offense is completely different without Chase’s explosive game. As a serviceable No. 1 cornerback, Awuzie provided Cincinnati with freedom on defense. Now, the Bengals cannot cover up for other weak corners, like Eli Apple. Cornerbacks Apple, Mike Hilton and Tre Flowers are questionable for Sunday. Cincy desperately needs Hilton to play and rookie Cam Taylor-Britt and Daxton Hill must step up.
On offense, wide receiver Tee Higgins and running back Joe Mixon must produce. Without Chase, the Bengals need to get the run game going, and Higgins has to be better. In addition, left tackle Jonah Williams’ struggles need to end. Cincinnati is getting solid interior offensive line play but Williams is a major liability.
Panthers vs Bengals Game Injuries
Panthers vs Bengals Head-to-Head
In the last four matchups, the Bengals are 2-1-1 against the Panthers. Cincinnati’s last home win against Carolina came in 2006. The Panthers won the last matchup 31-21.
Panthers vs Bengals Game Information
- Game: Panthers vs Bengals
- Date: Sunday, Nov. 6
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- Location: Paycor Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
- How to watch Panthers vs Bengals? ESPN
Panthers vs Bengals Live Stream: NFL Game Pass
Panthers vs Bengals Betting Lines
Panthers vs Bengals Prediction
The Bengals cannot come into this game sleepwalking. Carolina has advantages in several areas. First, edge rusher Burns can feast against Cincinnati’s bad offensive tackles, especially Williams. Wide receiver Moore is also poised for a big day against the Bengals’ weakened cornerback group.
The Panthers will cover thanks to solid QB play from Walker, but the Bengals will escape with a win.
The Cincinnati Bengals are listed at -320 in our Vegas lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Bengals, you have a chance to win $31. The Carolina Panthers are +260, offering a chance to win $260 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the Cincinnati Bengals a 76.19% chance to win, with the Carolina Panthers at 27.78%.
The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.