Since they won the coin toss before the start of the game, the Bengals elected to defer until the second half with Brandon Tate taking opening kickoff to the Bengals 25-yard line. Andy Dalton, feeling pressure within the pocket, rolls out right and finds Jermaine Gresham on a hitch towards the right sidelines for a seven-yard gain. Cedric Benson takes the second down handoff, tripped up a yard short of the first down marker setting up a third and one from the Bengals 34-yard line. Dalton fakes the handoff and hits Jermaine Gresham on a 16-yard reception near the right sidelines on an out.
Following a no-gain by Benson, who angrily walks off the field, Dalton scrambles out of the pocket for a five-yard gain setting up another third and five from the Browns 45-yard line. Dalton hits Simpson near the first down marker for the first down. Pitch left from the Browns 39-yard line forces Benson to run down the left sidelines, picking up 12 yards to the Browns 27-yard line. Dalton fakes the first down handoff to Benson and finds Andre Caldwell wide open over the middle, hauling in the 16-yard reception at the 11-yard line.
Following a three-yard gain and incomplete pass, Andy Dalton sets up third and seven from the eight-yard line, scrambles out of the pocket and runs out of bounds at the Browns five-yard line. Mike Nugent converts the chip-shot field goal and the Bengals reduce the deficit to seven.