Bengals pull away to beat Panthers 20-7

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Carson Palmer shook off two interceptions to throw a clinching touchdown pass to Cedric Benson midway through the fourth quarter in the Cincinnati Bengals' 20-7 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday to spoil Jimmy Clausen's first NFL start.

Cincinnati (2-1) snapped a five-game road losing streak despite a mistake-filled performance filled with turnovers and penalties. But the Panthers (0-3) couldn't take advantage, with Clausen throwing for 188 yards and Carolina committing four more turnovers.

Jonathan Stewart's lost fumble set up Palmer's 7-yard TD pass to Benson - the running back's first career TD receiving - to put the Bengals ahead 20-7. Benson added a 1-yard TD run in the first quarter in Cincinnati's second straight win.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.