Turning Point: Orton Unable to Bounce Back

In a 24-7 decision, it looked like the Bears were never in the game. Despite four interceptions by Kyle Orton in the first half, the Bears only trailed 10-0 at the break. The chance to get back in the game came in the third quarter, but the rookie quarterback made another mistake.

The Bengals helped the Chicago offense get past midfield for just the second time following a pass interference penalty on Deltha O'Neal. The 19-yard infraction gave the Bears first down at the 49. A false start by John Gilmore momentarily stalled the drive. A 7-yard run by Thomas Jones gave offensive coordinator Ron Turner a manageable second down and 8. Orton went to Muhsin Muhammad for 11 yards and a first down to the 36.

Edging toward at least a field goal, Turner stuck with the run. However, Madieu Williams busted up a Jones rush in the backfield for a three-yard loss.

Facing second and 13, Orton tried to force the ball to Muhammad and missed his intended target. O'Neal made up for his earlier penalty by hauling in the errant pass.

Any momentum built on the drive dissipated with Orton's fifth pick of the game.

The Bengals capitalized on the turnover and went on a 7-play, 70-yard drive to put the game out of reach.

Carson Palmer began and ended the drive with completions. In between Rudi Johnson carried four times for 22 yards. While the running back averaged just 3.4 yards per carry on the day, he found some big holes up the middle on this particular drive.

Palmer picked on Charles Tillman all day, two of his three touchdowns passes went to the receiver he covered.

The three-year veteran was beaten by a rookie wideout in Chris Henry for a 36-yard touchdown. Tillman looked to be in position to make a play on the ball, but never looked back.

"I don't think anyone in this locker room solely puts the blame on Kyle," Tillman said. "As a defense, we didn't make any plays. I gave up 14 points. I think the blame is on ourselves, the team, not just on particular person."

Instead of the Bears cutting into a 10-0 deficit early in the third quarter, the Bengals extended their lead to 17-0. All of the points came off turnovers.

By the time the Bears got in the end zone, it was too little too late. Making up 17 points is not something this offense will be able to do, no matter who is at quarterback.

Orton managed a mistake free game against the Lions last week, but had his worst performance to date against Cincinnati. He finished the game with a passer rating of 14.7.

The impressive thing about Orton has been his ability to bounce back from poor performances in the past. Following an interception that went back for a touchdown in the Hall of Fame game, he led the Bears to two touchdown drives and a victory.

The offense scored once in the season opener against Washington. He had a 103.3 passer rating in Week 2 against Detroit.

With the bye, the Bears have two weeks to get Orton ready for his next challenge, the Cleveland Browns.

"I'm still getting better, still growing," Orton said. "I've got to get back to work and I'll play a better game against the Browns for sure."


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