Another difficult group to critique:
The lack of pressure on quarterback Andy Dalton was concerning and he was sacked just once and hit only once, both by Shea McClellin. But Stephen Paea turned in a dominant second half at the nose tackle position, setting up McClellin’s loop that produced the sack and finishing with two solo and four assisted tackles.
The Bears allowed just seven rushing yards in the second half after 56 in the first.
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“It looked like overall our pads were ‘down’ in the second half on both sides of the ball,” said coach Marc Trestman. "That was really the big point Mel [Tucker, defensive coordinator], Aaron [Kromer, offensive coordinator], the three of us made at halftime that was they were winning the line of scrimmage because their pads were lower than ours.
“You have to get under people in this game. Overall, we got much more of that in the second half.”
Julius Peppers was not a significant factor in pass rush and Corey Wootton, who started at left end, and Henry Melton created some disruption. But the Bears were not able to get much pressure on Dalton as the Bengals stayed out of long-yardage situations that made it difficult for the line to more than take a couple of steps and get their hands up.