Cincinnati opened the game with a pitch to the left to Bernard Scott from their own 26-yard line, picking up one yard on the play. Andy Dalton followed that up with another handoff to Scott, bouncing around inside a wall of bodies, picking up three additional yards setting up third-and-six from their own 30-yard line. Dalton slings a third down pass towards the left hashmarks to a waiting Andre Caldwell, picking up eight yards and the first down.
Then things got a little crazy. As the Bengals called a time out, Brandon Browner and wide receiver Jerome Simpson conducted a little after hours business, resulting in a 15-yard personal foul on Browner. The penalty negated Andrew Whitworth's offensive holding on Chris Clemons on the prior play. After a neutral zone infraction on Chris Clemons, Andy Dalton faked a handoff and rolled out right, dumping off the pass into the flats for Chris Pressley, who exploded over a tackler for a first down. Bernard Scott followed that up with an 11-yard push off the left edge.
Eventually the Bengals were left with a third-and-five from the Seahawks 30-yard line. Dalton stood in the pocket, bouncing before scrambling to the right, finding Brian Leonard towards the right numbers, fighting off a tackle and finding the first down to the Seahawks 24-yard line.
Cincinnati's lengthy opening drive eventually stalled. Bernard Scott was dropped for a two-yard loss on first down, followed by a false start on Andre Smith setting up a second-and-17 from 31-yard line. Dalton flipped a pass to Andre Caldwell near the right sidelines, picking up 10 yards and setting up a third-and-seven. Kyle Cook snaps the football in shotgun, scrambling to the right, hits A.J. Green sliding towards the right sidelines and falls about two yards short of the first down marker.
Mike Nugent comes in and converts the 34-yard field to give the Bengals a 3-0 lead. Cincinnati's opening drive went 13 plays for 58 yards in 8:16.