Bengals start slow, but run over Colts to take 17-3 lead into halftime

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Aug 29, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) scores a touchdown as Indianapolis Colts linebacker Mario Harvery (54) tries to make a tackle at the goal line at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals starting defense looked shaky on it’s first series, allowing Matt Hasselbeck and mostly second-string Colts player to pick them apart to the tune of 5/8 passing for 49 yards, most of which were after the catch as Bengals defenders missed several tackles on the drive. The defensive issues from last week in Dallas, including missed tackles and assignments, were still evident and need to be fixed ASAP.

They did manage to stiffen and Adam Vinatieri booted a field goal from 43 yards out to give the Colts an early 3-0 lead.

Brandon Tate continued his red-hot preseason by returning the ensuing kickoff 51 yards. The majority of the first-team offense came out and pounded BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard right up the middle (behind John Conner, who started at fullback) for 28 yards. On 3rd-down Andy Dalton hit Mohamed Sanu, who broke a tackle and raced 18 yards down to the 6-yard line.

A.J. Green then drew obvious pass interference call in the end zone on a jump-ball, and the ball was placed at the 1-yard linewhere Gio would punch it in with Conner lead-blocking. Bernard now has three touchdowns in the preseason.