Yes, the Bengals lost. But the silver lining is that it was due to dumb penalties (Peerman, Kirkpatrick, Maualuga), the head-stratching playcalling at the end of the first half, and the repeated 12-men-on-the-field that forced the Bengals to use timeouts, NOT that the Bengals were outplayed. Lady Luck was completely on the side of Brandon Marshall and Martellus Bennett today, and not AJ Green and Mohamed Sanu. The Bears are a pretty darn good team too.
Dalton looked great. 26/33 for 282 yards and 2 TDs against a great defense, with two interceptions, one which was not his fault at all and another which was not primarily his fault. Dalton would have had a third TD pass, and a long one at that, if Tillman hadn't interfered with Green on the third long drive. Those 3 TD drives were simply amazing. He played better than Cutler, who certainly played well but had a lower completion % and had an interception that was completely his own fault. Other than the two long TD drives by the Bears, who do have a good offense and were undoubtedly going to score some points, I thought the defense played well (again, beyond the mental stuff).
It's one game. It's Week 1. Everyone in the AFC North is 0-1, and the Bengals are 1st place. It's very clear that this team is one of the most talented in the league (it certainly showed today on offense), and just needs to clean up the mental stuff (easier said than done). Lady Luck works in mysterious ways, and might just be on the Bengals' side down the road, considering she was ALL on the Bears' side today. This division is much worse than we thought. Just look at the games played this week by the Ravens, Steelers, and Browns. All those 3 teams are much worse. The Bengals are still the most likely to win the division and go to the playoffs. Look at New England and Indianapolis this week, struggling against horrible teams. With the exception of the Broncos, the AFC is much weaker than the NFC. Things are still looking good for the Bengals.