Cincinnati's defense began the game slow out of the gates. Denver's offense, using power runs and a quick passing offense, drove on the Bengals defense for 80 plays, converting three third downs on 15 plays to score the game's opening touchdown (a one-yard run by Willis McGahee). The drive was saturated with missed tackles and soft coverages and a quick passing game that neutralized Cincinnati's pass rush and blitz.
The Bengals offense tried responding, led by Cedric Benson picking up 24 yards on four runs, but stalled on third-and-short that forced the Bengals to punt. Yet the defense rebounded with a three-and-out, forcing two incomplete Kyle Orton's passes, along with a minimal Willis McGahee run for three yards.
Bernard Scott came into the game on the team's second drive, picking up 10 yards on runs to the right. However for the second time today, the Bengals offense stalled on third-and-one when Andy Dalton faked a handoff, trying to hook up with A.J. Green on a fade route towards the left sidelines.
If the Bengals can't convert their manageable third down converstion attempts (two yards or less), this could be a long day.