To start the second quarter, the Cincinnati Bengals gained a five on first down on a Joe Mixon run. However, Justin Simmons came free on second down for a huge sack on Joe Burrow to force a third and 15 which they were unable to convert punting the ball back to the Denver Broncos.
On first down, Bridgewater from play action crossed the line of scrimmage to complete a pass to Noah Fant for a 28 yard gain, but there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn upon review. He definitely seemed over the line, but the blue line is unofficial!
Teddy Bridgewater was definitely past the LOS pic.twitter.com/FfRBJgEREK— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) December 19, 2021
After a five yard gain by Williams, Bridgewater went for it all to Courtland Sutton where Eli Apple knocked away the would-be touchdown at the last second.
Teddy Bridgewater dropped in the bucket for Courtland Sutton.— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) December 19, 2021
Should have been a TD, but it's incomplete. pic.twitter.com/GWPwFXdtXX
On third and five, Williams caught the ball at the line and was driven backwards for no gain to bring out Brandon McManus to attempt to tie it up with a 54-yard field goal.
Broncos 3, Bengals 3.
Joe Mixon got a quick five yards on first down, but was stuffed on second down and then a false start happened. On third and nine, Burrow found his tight end but he was tackled short of the first down marker to bring out the punt unit after a big three and out for the Broncos’ defense.
Pinned inside their own five yard line, Albert Okwuegbunam made a leaping gain of 12 yards to get them out of the shadow of their own end zone. They would punt from there, but at least they got a little breathing room before that.
A poor punt set the Bengals up at their own 38-yard line. Mixon was stuffed for a one yard loss on first down, then Burrow was flushed out and able to complete a short pass for four yards on second down. Shelby Harris then blew up the line with some help from Jonathon Cooper for the third down sack on Burrow to end the Bengals drive.
With 3:30 left in the half, the Broncos took possession at their own 19 yard line. Back to back runs by Javonte Williams setup a third and six. Bridgewater, from the shotgun, drew the Bengals offsides for an easy five yards. Then on third and one, Williams powered through for the first down to keep the drive going with under two minutes to go in the half.
Bridgewater tossed it short to Williams for three yards on first down, then looked for Noah Fant who was wide open for a quick 10 yard gain. Williams gained a quick six yards as the clock ticked under a minute to go in the half. A swing pass went nowhere, then on third and five Bridgewater found Melvin Gordon underneath who turned upfield and powered his way to a first down on the fringes of field goal range with 28 seconds to go.
Two plays later, Tim Patrick hauled in his first reception of the game to get Denver just into field goal range. Bridgewater then almost threw a pick on third and one, then Brandon McManus missed the 51-yard field goal attempt to end a sorry series of events for Denver to end the first half.
The Bengals got the ball with 9 seconds left and quickly hit a 19-yard pass to setup a 58-yard field attempt that Evan McPhearson drilled to put the Bengals up at halftime.
Bengals 6, Broncos 3.