Bengals battered by 49ers in embarrassing home opener

Published: Sunday, September 15, 2019 @ 2:35 PM
Updated: Sunday, September 15, 2019 @ 4:12 PM


            CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 15: Raheem Mostert #31 of the San Francisco 49ers runs the ball for an eventual touchdown while Preston Brown #52 and William Jackson #22 of the Cincinnati Bengals pursueduring the first half at Paul Brown Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 15: Raheem Mostert #31 of the San Francisco 49ers runs the ball for an eventual touchdown while Preston Brown #52 and William Jackson #22 of the Cincinnati Bengals pursueduring the first half at Paul Brown Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

It was supposed to be a “New Dey” for the Cincinnati Bengals, but they already seem to have reverted back to their old ways.

The visiting San Francisco 49ers couldn’t have scripted a worse start for the Bengals in their home opener Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium, and fans were booing Zac Taylor’s team by the first drive of the second half.

Cincinnati never recovered and dropped to 0-2 with a 41-17 loss in front of 50,666 fans on a sunny afternoon that felt gloomy for the Bengals.

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»PHOTOS: Bengals vs. 49ers

San Francisco chewed up the Bengals defense to rack up 572 yards, reminding fans of the team that gave up 500 yards in three straight games last year, and the 41 points allowed was a home opener record for Cincinnati.

The Bengals set the tone for the day coming out of the gate. They were called for a hold on the opening kick return, and Andy Dalton took a sack on the first play from scrimmage and then fumbled the exchange on a handoff to Joe Mixon the next snap. After a short completion on third-and-19, they punted and San Francisco took advantage of a short field, scoring within four plays on a 38-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Marquise Goodwin.

Cincinnati responded with a 47-yard reception by Tyler Boyd to move into scoring position on the first play of the next drive and Tyler Eifert ended up with a 1-yard touchdown to tie the game; however, the defense never got any better and Dalton’s 9 for 9 start quickly unraveled. The Bengals managed to stop San Francisco just once in the first half.

The 49ers extended their lead to 21-7 with a pair of touchdowns that came on a Raheem Mostert 39-yard catch and 2-yard run by Jeff Wilson, who was just added to the roster this week. Mostert is a third-string running back. In between those two scores, William Jackson III intercepted Garoppolo but the Bengals couldn’t make anything out of it, as Randy Bullock ended up missing a 52-yard field goal attempt.

Cincinnati’s offense once again sputtered after a big catch by John Ross, and the Bengals had to settle for a 37-yard field goal to make it 21-10 with 6:57 left in the second quarter. San Francisco had another touchdown nullified by a hold shortly before the two-minute warning, otherwise the gap would have been wider. Dalton was intercepted the next drive and the 49ers tacked on a field goal right before the break to make it 24-10.

San Francisco just kept going in the second half and nearly managed to shut the Bengals’ offense out the rest of the way before Dalton found Ross for a 66-yard touchdown with 45 seconds left. Cincinnati’s only other trip to the end zone in the second half – a Boyd touchdown catch earlier in the fourth quarter – was wiped out by a Billy Price hold.

The Niners punished the Bengals on the ground and through the air, as their two backup running backs both had more rushing yards than Cincinnati’s total of 25. Dalton completed 26 of 42 passes for 311 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. He was sacked four times.

The Bengals were coming off a strong showing in their opener at Seattle, a 21-20 loss in which Dalton threw for 418 yards and the defense limited the Seahawks to 233 yards of offense. They look to bounce back next week at Buffalo.