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Bengals-Bears halftime observations

Posted by ESPN.com’s James Walker

CINCINNATI—The Bengals lead the Chicago Bears, 31-3, at intermission in a rout at Paul Brown Stadium.

Here are some halftime observations:

  • This is the best half of football that I’ve seen from the Bengals all season. Cincinnati scored points on all five possessions and held the Bears to just three points in the first two quarters. It was a complete performance on both sides of the football for the Bengals.

  • Bengals tailback Cedric Benson looks extremely motivated against his former team. He already has 98 yards on 20 carries. He should be a happy camper after the game if/when Cincinnati holds on to the win.

  • Chicago’s secondary isn’t covering anybody. Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco has eight catches for 103 yards and a touchdown in the first half. Tight end J.P. Foschi and receivers Laveranues Coles and Chris Henry also have touchdown catches from the arm of quarterback Carson Palmer, who has 183 yards early and completed 15-of-17 passes.

  • Cincinnati’s pass rush looks better than expected. The team lost starting defensive end and sack leader Antwan Odom (Achilles) this week. But role players like Frostee Rucker and Jonathan Fanene are filling in well and getting some hits on Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who threw for 136 yards and an interception.