GREEN BAY – Packers QB Aaron Rodgers threw just the second pick-six of his career, and it put the Packers down, 21-7, to the Bengals at halftime on Sunday at Lambeau Field.
Here's a recap of the first half.
Both teams scored touchdowns on their opening possessions, and the first quarter ended with the Bengals driving to break the 7-7 tie.
The Bengals scored their first touchdown of the season on the game’s opening drive. QB Andy Dalton moved the chains twice with 13-yard passes to TE Tyler Kroft and WR A.J. Green. He then found RB Joe Mixon for a 20-yard catch-and-run on third-and-4, and a facemask penalty on Packers S Marwin Evans made it first down on the Green Bay 12. Mixon’s play was officially ruled a run because Dalton’s pass went backwards.
Then on third-and-8, Dalton found Green for the 10-yard TD, and the Bengals were on the board first.
The Packers started at their own 40 after the kickoff went out of bounds, and they quickly got a 33-yard pass interference penalty on CB Adam Jones to get into Cincinnati territory. A 7-yard run by RB Ty Montgomery and a 9-yard pass to WR Jordy Nelson put the ball on the 11. WR Davante Adams then took a quick pass, juked his defender in the open field, and dove for the goal line.
The ball came out and was recovered by the Bengals, but replay ruled that Adams was down inside the 1. QB Aaron Rodgers then found TE Lance Kendricks wide open off play-action for the TD to tie the game.
The Bengals got across midfield again on their second possession, on the strength of completions of 17 yards to Green and 14 yards to Kroft. But on third-and-8, rookie S Josh Jones came on a blitz and sacked Dalton, forcing a punt.
WR Trevor Davis made some nifty moves on the punt return, gaining 33 yards in all out to the Green Bay 40. But the Packers went three-and-out, losing yardage along the way, and a bad punt by P Justin Vogel went just 27 yards, giving the ball back to the Bengals at their own 40.
CB Damarious Randall tackled Mixon for a 6-yard loss on first down, but Mixon countered with a pair of 9-yard receptions to move the chains anyway. RB Gio Bernard then busted through for a 25-yard run to the Green Bay 23 on the final play of the quarter.
The Bengals started the second quarter by handing off to RB Jeremy Hill four straight times for 17 yards, and then Dalton found Bernard wide open on a swing pass for a 6-yard touchdown. Cincinnati led 14-7 with 12:29 left in the half.
The Packers got back into scoring position on a 41-yard flea-flicker pass to Adams, but on third-and-6 from the 30, Rodgers pass for Nelson was picked off by CB William Jackson, who raced 75 yards the other way for the touchdown.
It was Rodgers’ first pick-six since 2009 and just the second of his career. It put the Packers down, 21-7, with 10:20 left in the half.
Rodgers got the Packers going on their next drive with a 9-yard scramble on third-and-4. But a third-down sack on the next series by LB Carl Lawson forced the Packers to punt. Vogel recovered with a strong 54-yard effort that, combined with a holding penalty on Cincinnati, put the Bengals on their own 6-yard line to start.
The Bengals got out of the hole on a 10-yard run by Mixon and an 11-yard pass to Green, but LB Blake Martinez stopped Bernard on third-and-3, and the Bengals punted. An illegal block on LB Kyler Fackrell on Davis’ return put the Packers back on their own 17 with 2:40 left.
After yet another sack, the Packers went three-and-out, and another booming punt by Vogel from deep in Green Bay territory pushed the Bengals back to their own 37 with 1:41 to go.
Green Bay’s defense got a three-and-out, and after a fair catch, the Packers took over on their own 10 with 38 seconds left. The Packers got just one first down, Rodgers was sacked again, and the Lambeau Field crowd began booing in the final seconds of the half.
The Bengals muffed the punt and the Packers recovered, but there was no time left on the clock to run another play.