The Bengals opened the season with the ball in Foxborough and they looked to air the ball out early. Carson Palmer was 1/2 for 14 yards and took a sack on the opening possession, and Terrell Owens dropped the incomplete pass on a fly route when rookie Devin McCourtney got a hand in the break it up. Benson had 2 carries for 8 yards, but the sack killed the drive on 3rd and 2.
The Patriots came out on fire, with a play action pass to rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez for 50 yards getting the Patriots into the redzone. A quick screen that everyone had to have seen coming with Wes Welker lined up behind two tight ends on the left led to the first 7 points for the Patriots. Shoddy tackling and a blown assignment can be blamed for this one. The Bengals defense simply failed to adjust to the play action and telegraphed bubble screen that led to the touchdown.
On the Bengals' second possession, after a 9-yard pass to Ochocinco to start the drive, the Bengals offense stalled on a failed stretch hand off to Benson and a hurried Palmer incomplete pass to resident punching bag Daniel Coats. The defense at this point needed badly to step up and bail out the stagnant-so-far offense. The Patriots picked up 15 yards on 5 plays before a bubble screen, again, resulted in a first down for the Patriots. There was some offensive pass interference on the play that went uncalled. Turns out that 3rd down was pretty pivotal, as Fred Taylor ripped a big run behind amazing blocking and Bengal over pursuit. Another 3rd down, this time in the red zone. The Bengals defense comes through on a Kevin Faulk drop (of what would have been a touch down pass), and holds the Patriots to a field goal.
A Benson fumble capped off the first quarter. Things are looking dire for the Bengals so far, and they ma be facing a a large deficit at halftime without a big play to change momentum. I blame the offensive line to this point - but the defense hasn't been very good either. The Bengals need to pick it up in the second quarter - starting NOW!