It was a rough game in Chicago as the Cincinnati Bengals gave up two interceptions and a lost fumble that led to a Bears’ rally late in the fourth quarter.
The Bears scored two touchdowns off turnovers that led to a 24-21 victory over the Bengals on Sunday. And it all started on the opening drive.
On Cincinnati’s opening drive, Dalton was intercepted by Charles Tillman at the Bengals’ 35-yard line for what appeared to be a pick six, but it was nullified and Chicago took over at the 35. Tillman would end the day with two interceptions, two passes defended and seven tackles.
After the interception, the Bears’ offense struggled with an ineligible receiver down field and a broken running play that resulted in a 2-yard loss. However, the Bengals’ gave up a third and long pass to Brandon Marshall for 18 yards to the Bengals’ 12-yard line and a first down.
Two plays later, Bear’s quarterback Jay Cutler fed Martellus Bennett a bullet in the back of the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown against Bengals’ safety George Iloka.
The Bengals would answer before the end of the first quarter on a 9-play, 97-yard touchdown drive thanks to a Dalton 47-yard deep ball to A.J. Green that took the Bengals down to Chicago’s four. Dalton would connect with Green a few plays later for a 2-yard touchdown catch. Dalton was 4 of 5 for 69 yards on the drive. He would finish the game completing 26 of 33 passes for 282 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. His quarterback rating was 97.2
Half way through the second quarter, the Bengals appeared to be on another run, moving down field from their own 20 to Chicago’s 38 before Dalton was picked off by Charles Tillman again at Chicago’s 17 after Green bobbled the pass attempt. Cincinnati would get the ball right back after a quick three and out by the Bears.
On the next drive, Cincinnati would take the lead after an 8-play, 91-yard drive that culminated in a Dalton-to-Green 45-yard touchdown pass. It was Green’s second touchdown catch of the day. Green finished the first half with five catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns.
Green appeared to dislocate a finger on a questionable passing play with just over a minute in the second quarter. With the Bear’s having only one time out, the Bengals passed on second and long at their own 8. The pass went incomplete and Green went to the training staff on the sidelines to have his hand looked at.
Cincinnati would punt 44-yards to Chicago’s 41 with 50 seconds left in the half. However, Dre Kirkpatrick was flagged with a personal foul for pushing a player who was out of bounds and the Bears took over at the Bengals’ 44.
After gaining only four yards, the Bears had kicker Robbie Gould attempt a 58-yard field goal. Gould’s previous best was 57. Gould’s kick was good with some extra room to spare as Chicago went into half time trailing 10-14.
The Bengals would come out in the second half scoring thanks to a Bear’s pass interference penalty. The Bengals scored a touchdown on a 5-yard run by BenJarvus Green-Ellis after an intereference call against Charles Tillman while covering A.J Green that took the ball down to the one yard line. After a loss of four yards, Green-Ellis went left guard for his first touchdown of the season to give the Bengals a 21-10 lead.
Chicago would answer right back with a 9-play, 80-yard drive of its own that resulted in a Matt Forte 1-yard touchdown run to bring the Bears within a touchdown of Cincinnati. Cutler went 4 of 5 for 66 yards on the drive. He finished the game 21 for 33, with 242 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
After the first two series that took nearly the entire third quarter to complete, things began to get sloppy for both teams.
After a quick three-and-out by Cincinnati, Jay Cutler was picked off by Vontaze Burfict who came up injured after a 12-yard return to Chicago’s 40-yard line. Burfict would come back after the play, but would get hurt again late in the fourth quarter.
Cutler’s turnover would be vindicated by a Mohamed Sanu fumble on the next Bengals’ possession that would be the ultimate deciding factor in the game. At the Chicago 27-yard line, Dalton hit Sanu on a slant route for 10 yards, but Sanu was stripped of the ball by Tim Jennings who recovered the ball at Chicago’s 19.
Last season, the Bears’ led the NFL with 28 forced fumbles and 20 recovered.
The Bear’s would make this turnover into yet another scoring drive as they would march down the field on an 8-play, 81-yard drive that finished with a 19-yard Cutler pass to Brandon Marshall in the back of the end zone to put the Bears up 24-21.
After another failed drive by the Bengals that resulted in a Huber punt late in the fourth quarter, penalties hurt the Bengals again – this time for good.
While the Bears achieved succesful first downs on running plays to use up the clock, they found themselves in a third and six situation. Michael Bush was stopped after a one yard gain, but Bengals’ linebacker Rey Maualuga flagged for a personal foul that gave the Bears a fresh set of downs before running out the clock.