Final

Bengals 24

(3-0, 2-0 away)

Bears 7

(1-2, 1-1 home)

1:00 PM ET, September 25, 2005

 

1 2 3 4 T
CIN 10 0 7 724
CHI 0 0 0 77

Top Performers

Passing: C. Palmer (CIN) - 169 YDS, 3 TD

Rushing: T. Jones (CHI) - 27 CAR, 106 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: C. Johnson (CIN) - 3 REC, 77 YDS, 2 TD

Bengals get five picks in two straight games

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Cincinnati Bengals picked up the habit of bumbling starts after 1990, the last time they started 3-0 and made the playoffs. On Sunday, they broke it -- with a 24-7 victory over the Chicago Bears.

It was over when ...
Kyle Orton's pass intended for Justin Gage was intercepted on the Bears' first play from scrimmage. Orton was picked off five times in the game.
Game ball goes to ...
The Bengals' defense, which helped the team become the first in 34 years to intercept five passes in consecutive games.
ESPN's take ...
Eric Allen Offensively, the Bengals look very sharp and Carson Palmer looks like the real deal. He's big, strong and has a great receiver (Chad Johnson) to throw the ball to now. On the flip side, there's nothing for the Bears to be ashamed of now because they faced a fantastic offense. The Bears are going to surprise a lot of teams because they play smart football and rely on their running game and defense. They won't play explosive defenses like this every game and will finish the season with a better record than most people expected.
-- Eric Allen

Cincinnati, which entered the game with a league-leading 10 takeaways, picked off Bears quarterback Kyle Orton five times and the Bengals became the first NFL team in 34 years to intercept five passes in consecutive games.

The Bengals' fast start doesn't satisfy Carson Palmer.

"Three games is nothing when you play a 16-game season," the Bengals quarterback said. "Don't get me wrong. It's great to be 3-0 and have this start. But we still have a lot of games -- a lot of big games -- ahead of us and a lot of really good teams."

Madieu Williams, Keiwan Ratliff, Tory James, Deltha O'Neal and Brian Simmons each intercepted Orton. The Bengals intercepted Daunte Culpepper five times in last week's 37-8 victory over Minnesota; the 1971 Browns were the last to pick off five in back-to-back games.

Palmer was 16-of-23 for 169 yards and three touchdowns, two of them to Chad Johnson, and did not throw an interception against a Bears defense that picked off Detroit's Joey Harrington five times the previous week.

Rudi Johnson rushed for 84 yards on 25 carries.

"It's big," Simmons said of the 3-0 start. "You get off and you're not behind the eight-ball. The last two years, we've been putting ourselves behind the eight-ball. We've been closing strong, but it was just a too-little, too-late type of thing. You only have a certain amount of games to make your statement, and you can't wait until halfway through the season to do it."

Chicago's Thomas Jones rushed for 106 yards and scored the Bears' lone touchdown on a 2-yard run early in the fourth quarter, after a 139-yard performance in last week's 38-6 rout of Detroit. Cedric Benson, the No. 4 pick in the draft, did not play.

Orton, who had thrown only one interception in the first two weeks, looked flustered, completing just 17-of-39 passes for 149 yards. He was the first Bear to throw five interceptions since Larry Rakestraw at Detroit in September 1968.

The Bears were still in it -- down 10-0 five minutes into in the third quarter -- before Orton was intercepted a fifth time.

That's when O'Neal picked off a pass intended for Muhsin Muhammad. It was the fourth interception of the season for O'Neal, who entered the game tied with Chicago's Nathan Vasher for the league lead.

Palmer then took advantage, driving his team 70 yards and finishing with a 36-yard touchdown pass to Chris Henry.

"I didn't play well," Orton said. "I didn't make good decisions. You can't play like that and turn the ball over five times and expect to win a game."

Orton's first interception came on the Bears' first play from scrimmage, when the Bengals' Kevin Kaesviharn hit Justin Gage as he attempted to catch a pass at the 40. Simmons got the interception and fumbled, and Odell Thurman scooped up the ball and brought it to the Chicago 18.

The play stood after a review, and Palmer hit Johnson for a touchdown on the next play, zipping the pass between Charles Tillman and Mike Brown for a 7-0 lead just over a minute into the game.

Midway through the quarter, Ratliff intercepted Orton at the Bears' 37. Palmer missed T.J. Houshmandzadeh deep on the right side, but pass interference against Tillman put the ball at the 3. The Bengals settled for a 33-yard field goal by Shayne Graham with 2:27 left in the quarter.

The problems never ceased for Orton.

James picked off a long pass intended for Mark Bradley early in the second quarter, and Williams later intercepted a pass thrown into double coverage, giving the Bengals the ball at their 46.

After the Bears recovered a Cincinnati fumble, Doug Brien missed a 39-yard field goal with 1:12 left in the half.

The Bengals offense, which averaged 462 yards over the first two weeks, finished with 244.

"We're definitely not there yet," Palmer said. "We're pretty good. Offensively, we do some good things, but we're still a ways away from where we need to be."

Game notes


Bears tight end Desmond Clark left the game with a neck strain in the first half but said it isn't serious. ... When asked why Benson didn't play, coach Lovie Smith said, "I didn't think the timing was right at the time. Cedric, of course, is a good football player, but Thomas was running the ball well." Benson rushed for 49 yards last week. ... Bears defensive end Adewale Ogunleye, who was questionable with a sprained ankle, had a sack. ... Williams led the Bengals with eight tackles.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
CIN
CHI
1st Downs1116
Passing 1st downs
69
Rushing 1st downs
44
1st downs from penalties
13
3rd down efficiency
2-143-15
4th down efficiency
0-02-3
Total Plays5867
Total Yards244255
Yards per play4.23.8
Total Drives1713
Passing161149
Comp-Att
16-2317-39
Yards per pass
6.73.8
Interceptions thrown
05
Sacks-Yards Lost
1-80-0
Rushing83106
Rushing Attempts
3428
Yards per rush
2.43.8
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-30-1
Penalties9-777-88
Turnovers16
Fumbles lost
11
Interceptions thrown
05
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession31:0828:52

Passing Leaders

CINC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Palmer16/231697.3301-8
CHIC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Orton17/391493.8050-0

Rushing Leaders

CINCARYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson25843.4025
Perry122.002
CHICARYDSAVGTDLG
Jones271063.9117
Orton100.000

Receiving Leaders

CINRECYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson37725.7240
Henry45112.8136
CHIRECYDSAVGTDLG
Muhammad45814.5023
Wade44711.8017

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERCINCHI
cinTD13:51Chad Johnson, 18 yd pass from Carson Palmer (Shayne Graham kick is good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 18 yds, 0:00
70
cinFG5:36Shayne Graham 25 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 7 plays, 21 yds, 2:22
100
THIRD QUARTERCINCHI
cinTD7:11Chris Henry, 36 yd pass from Carson Palmer (Shayne Graham kick is good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 70 yds, 2:50
170
FOURTH QUARTERCINCHI
chiTD13:34Thomas Jones, 2 yd run (Doug Brien kick is good)
Drive info: 15 plays, 72 yds, 9:33
177
cinTD12:03Chad Johnson, 40 yd pass from Carson Palmer (Shayne Graham kick is good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 62 yds, 1:18
247