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Postgame quick hits


» Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis on the game:
"We have a hard time making it easy. The good thing about our guys is we go on to the next play. Our guys do a good job compartmentalizing play-by-play, quarter-by-quarter."

» Lewis on the passing game:
"The way the coverages were, we knew they are going to takle away those two guys (receivers Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens) on the outside. It's going to come, and you saw the tight end was a factor today."

» Jermaine Gresham had a career-high four catches for 59 yards. Most of the yards came on two screen plays, including one of the the Bengals' biggest plays of the game, a 27-yarder.

"The offensive line did a great job getting out there," Gresham said. "The tackle, the guard, and I remember Kyle (Cook) getting all the way out there."

» Cedric Benson kept alive his streak of the Bengals being unbeaten when he carries at least 25 times in a game. He finished with 81 yards on 27 carries.

"It's my kind of game; I love it," Benson said. "No flashy plays, no big plays, but we won the game. The guys played hard, we got into a rhythm running the ball, and our defense played great."

» Benson on if the coaches listened to his lobbying for more touches earlier in the week:
"I'm not going to get involved in that. I'm just going to be as well prepared as I can and take it as it comes. I'm in no control over it."

» Kicker Mike Nugent had his second 50-yard field goal in three games, and dating back to the preseason, it's his fourth game in the last five with at least one 50-yarder. Nugent raved about the way snapper Clark Harris and holder Kevin Huber worked in the wet conditions. Although it rained intermittently during the game, the field was soaked by a cloudburst about 90 minutes before the game.

"I don't know how Clark snapped it with the ball being that wet, and it didn't bother Kevin at all," Nugent said. "He didn't drop it or fumble it or anything. The easiest thing was kicking it."

» Huber had no touchbacks and put five punts inside the 20-yard line, including three inside the 5-yard line.

"The way Kevin punted today was ridiculous," Nugent said.

» Quarterback Carson Palmer also said the conditions were tough.

"The ball is wet and it's tough for receivers and DBs to catch it," Palmer said. "We definitely missed some things all over the field. They are a fast, quick bunch but for the most part we had the protection in the pocket."

» Palmer said the Bengals had a touchdown on his second interception, an underthrow to an open Owens down the middle of the field.

"We just didn't have enough time. That would have been nice because it would have been a nice long touchdown for him and it would have given the group a lot of confidence," Palmer said.

» Palmer wasn't surprised by the Panthers coverage of mostly double-teaming Ochocinco and Owens. He said when Panthers defensive coordinator Ron Meeks was in Indianapolis he rarely gave Ochocinco single coverage, "but we were able to get the ball to Jermaine on some plays," he said.

» The offense was disappointed when it couldn't kick a field goal on the last play of the first half when it ran out of time.

"It was a good lesson for us," Lewis said. "We've got it on tape. The quarterback has to know if Jermaine can't make it to the end zone, (the ball) has to go out the back. That's a good example of (why you should spike the ball) because of the cadence and all that."

The Bengals chose not to spike the ball and got a penalty called on right tackle Dennis Roland but Cook said it was his fault because of a cadence problem at the line.

» The Bengals didn't allow Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith a catch until 9:34 left in the game. Leon Hall had Smith much of the time and cut in front of him for a red zone interception early in the game.

"We did some different things with him, sometimes we rolled up on him, sometimes we singled him, and soemtimes we doubled him," Hall said.

Hall said on his interception the defense rolled up coverage on Smith.

» A week after holding Baltimore to 4-of-15 on third down, the Bengals held Carolina to 2-of-11.

» Safety Chris Crocker on the Bengals defensive coverages:
"We did disguise, but it wasn't that complicated. They weren't that complicated. It looked (Clausen) was looking at one receiver and throwing it away."

» The Bengals held the Panthers to 87 yards on 24 carries for 3.6 yards per carry. Carolina last year averaged 158 yards per game on the ground.

"We changed it up. We had eight men in the box, seven in the box. It was a scheme we put in to defend them in the run game because everybody knows that's what they do under John Fox," linebacker Dhani Jones said.

» Benson was injured after his final carry and left the game with what appeared to be a foot or ankle problem. He said it is nothing to worry about and that he was just getting checked and he will be fine.

» Palmer's passer rating of 53.3 is the lowest he has ever had in a win. It was lower than the 53.5 he had against Cleveland in a 23-20 win on December 11, 2005. It was also his lowest rating since a 41.3 rating in a loss to Tennessee on September 14, 2008.

» Lewis told his team on Wednesday that they were going to play a field position game because he knew of the weather forecast and the Panthers defense. "When we came out pregame in the rain, that's what we were expecting," Lewis said. He also added that if the Bengals had won the pregame coin toss (the Panthers won it) he would have deferred to the second half and put his defense on the field to start the game.

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