After the Bengals took a 3-0 lead on Mike Nugent's 22-yard field goal during Cincinnati's opening possession, both teams exchanged punts after picking up a first down. San Francisco's first play of the game, a completed pass to full back Bruce Miller in the left flats out of the backfield, Chris Crocker and Jonathan Fanene combined on a quarterback sack that pushed the 49ers into second and long. Alex Smith and the San Francisco offense are unable to pick up the first down and are forced to punt.
Cincinnati takes the ball, converts a first down on second-and-seven on a quick pass to Andre Caldwell, from the slot and running towards the right sidelines. Caldwell picked up the first down yardage fighting for yards after initial contact that eventually brought him down beyond the first down marker. That would be the final first down on the drive. After a limited gain by Cedric Benson on the ground, Dalton threw consecutive incomplete passes on second and third down. The Bengals punted the football.
The running game appears ineffective for both teams deep into the first quarter whereas the quick passing game is working for both teams, provided they're not stuck in third and long situations.