After the Bengals defense allowed 80 yards on 10 plays, the offense was facing a seven-point deficit early after Brandon Tate gained 37 yards on the ensuing kickoff to the Bengals own 31-yard line. With Cedric Benson making it known this week that he wasn't happy with the Bengals offense, offensive coordinator Jay Gruden called Benson's number up the middle for a limited two-yard gain. Cincinnati was forced to take an early time out as the play clock was expiring.
Second-and-eight from their own 33-yard line and 8:37 remaining in the first quarter, Dalton hands off to Benson, who aims to the left for a four-yard gain. Called a timeout and we came up with that? On third down Dalton hits Jerome Simpson on a five-yard hitch just beyond the first down marker, picking up a new set of downs.
Benson was called to run in back-to-back downs for a total of five yards, leaving third-and-five. Dalton takes the shotgun snap and finds Simpson over the middle on a cross, catching the pass a yard short of the first down and falling forward for the first down.
For the first time on the drive, Dalton fakes the hand off and looks to throw on first down with 5:37 left in the first quarter. Linebacker Paul Posluszny deflected the pass, forcing the incomplete. Benson picked up eight yards to the right, setting up third-and-two from the Jacksonville 33-yard line. Dalton shouts instructions and takes the snap from center, hands it off to Benson to the left, digging through bodies to pick up their third first down on the drive.
In shotgun from the 30-yard line, Dalton fakes the handoff from shotgun looks to his right and holds onto the football. Defensive end Mincey bull rushes Nate Livings and sacking the quarterback for a seven-yard loss. An incomplete to Simpson later, the Bengals are set up with third-and-17 with 3:25 remaining in the first quarter. Dalton takes the shotgun snap, looks over the middle and throws down the right sidelines towards wide receiver A.J. Green, hauling in the touchdown pass.
Third-and-17 and the Bengals score a touchdown. Love is epic.
Dalton completed three of five passes for 54 yards passing and a touchdown with Cedric Benson rushed for 22 yards on six carries. The Bengals answered Jacksonville's 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive with their own 12-play, 69-yard touchdown drive to tie the game.