The Bengals have been known to play at the level of their competition and that seems to be especially true today. Even though they lead by three points, they haven't looked too terribly good, especially on defense. They have allowed the Colts to run on them with Delone Carter and Donald Brown and they'll have to fix that before they take the field in the second half if they want to head into the bye week with a 4-2 record.
The Bengals got the ball to start the first quarter and they were stopped for a three-and-out after three straight Cedric Benson runs for eight yards. Kevin Huber punted the ball away and the league's No. 1 defense took the field for the first time in the game.
On the Colts' first drive, the Bengals defense looked like the best defense in the league. After allowing rookie running back Delone Carter to run for a first down on two carries, the Bengals go the ball back on a fumble recovery. Curtis Painter found Dallas Clark and got him the ball but cornerback Nate Clements stripped the ball away and Thomas Howard recovered the fumble.
The Bengals took over from the Colts' 44-yard line. Andy Dalton threw two passes to Jermaine Gresham and one to Andre Caldwell to move the ball to the Colts' 11-yard line where they were in a third-and-four situation. Dalton dropped back to pass and threw a jump ball to A.J. Green, who started in the right slot, in the end zone. Green was being covered by the 5-10 Jerraud Powers and he was able to come down with the ball to give the Bengals the first touchdown of the game.
The Colts were able to drive down the field on the next drive, largely thanks to Carter and the running game, but the Bengals were eventually able to stop them around midfield and force them to punt.
The Bengals offense came back on the field and found themselves in a third-and-long situation right off the bat. Dalton completed a first-down pass to Andre Caldwell but the play was overturned thanks to an offensive pass interference call on Caldwell and the Bengals were forced to punt again.
The Colts scored on the following drive.
Donald Brown and Pierre Garcon hurt the Bengals on their next offensive drive. After a couple of running plays, Painter got the ball to Garcon on three consecutive passes for 27 yards and then Brown ran the ball again for nine yards. This This set the Colts up in a second-and-one situation on the Bengals' 18-yard line. On the next play, Painter handed the ball to Donald Brown on the right side. Brown jumped to the outside and thanks to a terrible angle on the run by the cornerback, he was able to run down the sidelines all the way into the end zone to tie up the score.
The Bengals got the ball back and were able to drive the ball just beyond midfield before they were forced to punt the ball away. The Bengals defense then forced the Colts into a three-and-out.
The Bengals got the ball back with just over two minutes left in the first half. Thanks to Andy Dalton and some nice plays by A.J. Green and Jerome Simpson, the Bengals drove all the way down the field and found themselves in a position to score within the five yard line. The Bengals gave the ball to Cedric Benson on two straight carries but Benson was stopped both times and in a fourth-down situation with just three seconds left, the Bengals let Mike Nugent kick a field goal, which was good giving the Bengals a 10-7 lead at half time.