Cincinnati hits 3-0 for first time since 1990

Bengals 24 Bears 7

NFL Gameday

Week Three

September 26, 2005

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

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 (Maryland), 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 Cleveland Browns were the last to intercept five in back-to-back games.

Palmer was 16-for-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.

Chicago's Thomas Jones rushed for 106 yards and scored the Bears' lone touchdown on a 2-yard run early in the fourth quarter.

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 intercepted a pass intended for Muhsin Muhammad. It was the fourth interception of the season for O'Neal.

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."

Cincinnati 10 0 7 7 - 24

Chicago 0 0 0 7 - 7

First quarter Cin-C.Johnson 18 pass from Palmer (Graham kick), 13:46. Cin-FG Graham 33, 5:31.

Third quarter Cin-Henry 36 pass from Palmer (Graham kick), 7:03.

Fourth quarter Chi-T.Jones 2 run (Brien kick), 13:30. Cin-C.Johnson 40 pass from Palmer (Graham kick), 11:56. A-62,045.

Cin Chi

First downs 11 16

Total Net Yards 244 255

Rushes-yards 34-83 28-106

Passing 161 149

Punt Returns 3-17 4-12

Kickoff Returns 2-56 5-88

Interceptions Ret. 5-2 0-0

Comp-Att-Int 16-23-0 17-39-5

Sacked-Yards Lost 1-8 0-0

Punts 9-40.0 6-42.2

Fumbles-Lost 2-1 4-1

Penalties-Yards 9-77 7-88

Time of Possession 31:08 28:52

Rushing-Cincinnati, R.Johnson 25-84, Perry 1-2, J.Johnson 1-1, C.Johnson 1-(minus 1), Palmer 6-(minus 3). Chicago, T.Jones 27-106, Orton 1-0. Passing-Cincinnati, Palmer 16-23-0-169. Chicago, Orton 17-39-5-149.

Receiving-Cincinnati, Henry 4-51, C.Johnson 3-77, Perry 3-20, Houshmandzadeh 2-13, R.Johnson 2-(minus 2), Stewart 1-6, Schobel 1-4. Chicago, T.Jones 5-8, Muhammad 4-58, Wade 4-47, Bradley 2-26, Peterson 1-7, Edwards 1-3. Missed field goals-Chicago, Brien 39 (WL).

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