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Early scores leave Packers trailing, 14-0

Posted by Vic Ketchman, packers.com editor on September 22, 2013 – 12:45 pm

Packers WR Jeremy Ross

CINCINNATI–The Packers trailed 14-0 before they had run a play from scrimmage, and the Bengals protected that lead through the first quarter of Sunday’s game at Paul Brown Stadium.

True to the Bengals’ personality, they scored on a long, ball-control series to start the game. Rookie running back Giovani Bernard scored from three yards out. It capped a 10-play, 80-yard drive, the big play of which was a short throw to wide receiver Mohamed Sanu that Sanu turned into a 32-yard gain when cornerback Tramon Williams broke on the ball and missed.

Disaster struck the Packers on the ensuing kickoff. Jeremy Ross failed to catch a short kickoff and the Bengals’ Taylor Mays recovered at the Packers 2-yard line. Ross was in a sprint when the ball went through his hands. Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored on the next play, and with 9:08 to play in the first quarter, the Bengals led, 14-0.

Green Bay began a promising drive in its first possession, but it stalled on a third-down incompletion. The pass was in Jermichael Finley’s hands when he was hit hard by safety George Iloka. Finley appeared dazed following the play and had to be helped by the training staff. He was taken to the locker room for evaluation.

The Packers defense forced a punt by the Bengals and the Packers took possession of the ball at the Green Bay 42 with 5:09 to play in the first quarter. Defensive end Michael Johnson ended that possession, however, by sacking Aaron Rodgers on third down.

Late in the first quarter, the Packers got the break they needed when Andy Dalton threw the ball into the arms of cornerback Sam Shields, who had wide receiver A.J. Green covered. The Packers had the ball at the Bengals 27-yard line.

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