The Baltimore Ravens deferred to the second half after winning the coin toss, giving us an early look at Hue Jackson's offense. Brandon Tate wisely took a knee eight yards deep into the endzone, setting the Bengals up at their own 20-yard line.
The tempo was fast. Very fast. And the plays were quick. Very quick.
Cincinnati went with consecutive plays that quickly got the football out of Andy Dalton's hands. The first, a nine-yard hitch to A.J. Green was followed by a wide receiver screen to Mohamed Sanu, picking up six and the first down. Despite a four-yard run, incomplete pass and Jermaine Gresham false start, the Bengals picked up the first down on a middle screen to Giovani Bernard, who crossed midfield on the 16-yard sprint for the first down with 12:45 remaining in the first.
Eventually Cincinnati's drive stalled at Baltimore's 34-yard line under 11 minutes remaining in the first quarter. The Bengals concluded the 11-play drive with a Mike Nugent 49-yard field goal, giving Cincinnati a 3-0 lead.
Dalton completed five of seven passes for 38 yards.