A.J. Green tallied two touchdowns and 162 yards, but in the end the Cincinnati Bengals fell short in Chicago on Sunday 24-21.
Andy Dalton and Jay Cutler each threw for over 200 yards, but it was the Bengals (0-1) three turnovers that doomed them in the season opener. The Bears (1-0) also held the Bengals to 63 yards on 21 carries.
Cincinnati's first drive lasted only two plays as Tyler Eifert grabbed his first NFL reception, but then Dalton was picked off Charles Tillman who initially returned it for a touchdown before it was reviewed and he was ruled down. Eight plays later Cutler connected with Martellus Bennet for an 8-yard yard TD.
Two drives later the Bengals drove 97 yards on nine plays to tie the game. Cincinnati was able to get away from their own end zone when Dalton and Eifert got together for a 17-yard gain. Giovanni Bernard also added 14 yards on two carries. Green got into the action when he brought in a 42-yard reception and then scored on a two-yard catch.
Dalton was victimized by Tillman once again to set the Bears up with great field position. Cincinnati's defense was able to hold and the Bengals once again marched over 90 yards for a touchdown that was finished off by a 45-yard Green reception. The Bears were able to get a 58-yard field goal from Robbie Gould to make it a 14-10 game at halftime.
The Bengals opened the second half with an 80-yard scoring drive that lasted 7 minutes. Jermaine Gresham took in 23 of his 35 yards on the drive and a pass interference on Tillman against Green set up the Bengals at the 2-yard line. BenJarvus Green-Ellis was able to punch it in from their to make it a 21-10 game.
Chicago responded with an 80-yard drive of its own to bring the game back to a four point spread. Cutler was able to pick apart the Bengals secondary as Bennett picked up 35 yards and then Alshon Jeffery brought in an 18 yard reception to the Cincinnati 1-yard line. Matt Forte took it in from there for his first TD of the season.
Both teams had problems securing the ball to start the fourth quarter. Cutler was picked off by Vontaze Burfict to give the Bengals excellent, but Mohammed Sanu fumbled after being stripped by Tim Jennings. Chicago was able to turn it into points as Brandon Marshall scored on a 19-yard reception for a 24-21 lead.
The Bengals went three and out on their final drive, but were able to stop the Bears on a third and six. Unfortunately for Cincinnati, Rey Maualuga was flagged for unnecessary roughness to keep the ball with Chicago and the Bears were able to run out the clock.
Cincinnati returns to action at Paul Brown Stadium on Monday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.