The Bengals won the toss and deferred, giving the Jaguars the ball first. The Jaguars, led by running back Maurice Jones-Drew, proceded to drive 80 yards down the field for a touchdown. Jones-Drew carried the ball six times for 42 yards, for an average of seven yards per carry, and scored on a six-yard touchdown run.
When the defense did stop Jones-Drew, Gabbert picked up the slack. On a third-and-seven play from the Bengals 47-yard line, Gabbert connected with Mike Thomas deep for 24 yards.
It was one of the worst showings by the Bengals defense so far this year.
But the Bengals offense responded.
Andy Dalton led the Bengals on a touchdown drive on their very first drive of the game. After completing two third-down passes to Jerome Simpson, the Bengals found themselves in a third-and-17 situation on the Jaguar's 37-yard line. Andy Dalton dropped back to pass and found A.J. Green, who faded to the right sideline and beat his man down the field. Dalton got Green the ball and Green was tackled as he entered the end zone. The Bengals tied the score up 7-7.
They proceded to stop the Jaguars on their next drive, forcing them to punt. Brandon Tate caught the punt on the Bengals' five-yard line and was tackled on the seven-yard line.
After a Bernard Scott run that went nowhere, Dalton dropped back to pass and again found Green open, this time near the left sideline. Dalton threw the ball up but floated it too much which gave safety Dawan Landry enough time to step in front of the pass and intercept it, taking the ball all the way back to the Bengals two-yard line before a very pissed off Andy Dalton brought him down.
The Bengals defense showed why their the best in the NFL.
They held the Jaguars out of the end zone from the two-yard line, holding the Jaguars to a field goal instead of a touchdown. Josh Scobee's field goal was good, giving the Jaguars a 10-7 lead.
The Bengals offense took the field looking to even the score at least but failed to do so. Scott ran the ball on first down for one yard on first down. On second down, the Bengals lost five yards on a botched screen pass to Scott and then on third down Dalton was sacked by defensive end John Chick, who beat Andrew Whitworth badly on the play. The Bengals punted after a three-and-out.
The next offensive drive by the Jaguars will be one that Bengals fans will complain about for a long time, especially if the Bengals end up losing the game. After allowing the Jaguars to get a first down, Blaine Gabbert handed Jones-Drew the ball behind the right side of the line. Jones-Drew gained a few yards and was hit as he was trying to cut back to the other side of the field. It seemed at first that he had done an amazing job at keeping his balance as he continued to run for 25 yards down to the Bengals five-yard line. However, upon replay, you could see that Jones-Drew's knee was down. The Jaguars, knowing that he was down, got to the line quickly and snapped the ball before the Bengals had a chance to even question whether the running back was down or not. The defense did another nice job of holding the Jaguars out of the end zone, though. For the second time in two consecutive drives, the defense held the Jaguars to three points when they had the ball five yards away from the end zone on first down.
Tate returned the next kickoff 22 yards out to the Bengals 48-yard line, setting the Bengals up with good field position on what would be the final drive of the game.
The Bengals drove down the field and even converted a fourth down play to find themselves in a third-and-goal situation from the Jaguars three-yard line. Andy Dalton dropped back to pass. Not seeing anybody open right away, he out of the pocket to the right. Just when it looked like he may attempt to tuck the ball and run, he threw the ball across his body to tight end Jermaine Gresham, who slid to catch the pass. The Bengals had a chance to take a one-point lead before half time but kicker Mike Nugent, one week removed from kicking the game-winning field goal against the Bills, missed the extra point for just the third time in his career of 124 attempts.
The game was tied at 13 and the Jaguars just knelt the ball to go into the locker room tied.