The up and down Bengals were up Saturday night. The offense was uptempo. The defense was down with it when it came to stopping the run against a befuddled looking Chicago Bears squad that didn't seem to know up for down.
The result: Another Bengals preseason home victory.
Quarterback Andy Dalton sneaked in for a touchdown on fourth-and-inches on the Bengals' opening drive, then came out of the game as a precaution with a sore neck Saturday during a 21-10 victory over the Bears at Paul Brown Stadium.
The Bengals (2-1, 2-0 at home) were looking for a lot more out of their starting offense after a three-turnover performance during a loss at Tampa Bay. Dalton threw two interceptions in that one.
He completed all six of his passes Saturday during a 16-play, 77-yard drive that consumed more than 9 minutes of game clock. Dalton finished it with a sneak from inside the 1-yard line, and was kept on the sideline after that because his neck hurt.
"We wanted to come out and set the tone right away after last week," Dalton said. "We wanted to come out and play fast, and that's exactly what we did."
Coach Marvin Lewis said Dalton is OK
"He's fine," the coach said. "Taking him out was just precautionary."
Bengals quarterbacks completed their first 13 passes against the Bears (2-1), who again failed to get a touchdown out of their starting offense. Chicago's offense has managed five field goals and no touchdowns in the preseason.
After Dalton went 6-for-6 in the first quarter, backup quarterback A.J. McCarron completed his first seven passes with the starting offense in his first home game in Cincinnati. McCarron finished 12-of-17 passing for 149 yards and a touchdown.
Mike Nugent converted three extra-points in his return to the field following hamstring issues that kept him out the first two preseason games. He did not attempt a field goal and deferred to undrafted kicker Tom Obarski on kickoffs.
Leading the Bears was quarterback Jay Cutler. He finished 13 of 17 for 98 yards without an interception before being replaced by Jimmy Clausen.
The starting Chicago offense totaled just six first downs and 123 yards on 29 plays. The Bears were outgained in the game, 336-194.
The Bears were limited to 67 yards rushing on 18 carries for a 3.7-yard average. They were whistled for 12 penalites. Cincinnati had nine penalties in one of the few negatives of the night.
The Bengals ruled the time-of-possession advantage, 36:52 to 23:08.