It started strong for the Bengals defense.
Cincinnati gave up a touchdown early in the first quarter, but it came off an Andy Dalton interception on Cincinnati's 36-yard line. And frankly, Martellus Bennett's touchdown grab was just ridiculous.
At the conclusion of the first half, Cincinnati's defense held Chicago to 97 yards and two of eight on third down -- running back Matt Forte was limited to only a 2.5 yard/rush average. It was Cincinnati's defense holding true to their preseason expectations.
Then it went wrong.
In the second half, Chicago generated 226 yards on offense and averaged 7.3 yards per play. The Bears also converted five of ten second half third down opportunities, including three of their top five biggest gains last Sunday.
Mike Zimmer reflected on his defense's third down opportunities.
"One of them was my fault," he said to the Cincinnati Enquirer. "Third-and-17, ball was on the 32-yard line or something and I said I was going to get them out of field goal range and we ended up giving them a touchdown because I was trying to get them out of field goal range instead of just getting them out. One time we were doubling (Brandon) Marshall and he caught the ball anyway. One time we missed a check. We made too many errors, especially on third down. I didn’t adjust well in the max (protect) stuff all day on third down, they didn’t give us any real chances to blitz much."