Halftime Observations: Bengals Off to Slow Start, Bears Lead 7-0

Cincinnati struggled in the first half.

CINCINNATI — The Bengals are hoping to win their first road game of the 2021 season, but they're off to a slow start. The Bears have a 7-0 halftime lead.

The Bengals only have 91 yards of total offense. Joe Burrow is 10-of-14 for 72 yards. Cincinnati hasn't tried to push the ball downfield and haven't been able to get their rushing attack going. 

Here are some of our halftime observations:

Slow Start

Andy Dalton took the Bears on a 9-play, 75-yard drive to start the game. He found Allen Robinson for an 11-yard touchdown. 

Cincinnati's defense struggled early, and their offense was worse. They haven't been able to pick up where they left off last week. Instead, they look out of sync. 


Burrow was sacked twice and hit three times in the first half. Cincinnati sacked Dalton once and Justin Fields once. 


The Bengals had penalties on defense that extended multiple drives for Chicago. 

First, Eli Apple blatantly pushed Marquise Goodwin and was called for defensive pass interference. The 32-yard penalty extended the Bears' opening possession, which ended with an 11-yard touchdown from Dalton to Allen Robinson.

Vonn Bell was called for taunting and Sam Hubbard was called for roughing the passer. 

If Cincinnati is going to win this game, they have to play a much cleaner second half. 

Bears QBs

Dalton is nursing a knee injury. If he's out for the game, the Bengals are going to have to contain Fields on defense. The rookie is big, athletic and has the arm strength to make every throw. 

If Fields is under center, he brings another dynamic that the Bengals will have to account for in the second half. 

The Bengals Will Win If...

They get going on offense. They have to find a way to get into a rhythm. Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd haven't made many big plays. They've combined for seven receptions, but that's not enough. 

Cincinnati gets the ball to start the third quarter. They need to set the tone for the second half by taking their first possession downfield for a score. 

The Bengals have been outplayed, but they're only down 7-0. There's plenty of time for Zac Taylor and company to get out of Chicago with a win. 

Make sure you bookmark All Bengals for the latest news, exclusive interviews, film breakdowns and so much more with the season opener just a few days away!

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