49ers vs. Bengals: 5 Halftime Adjustments Cincinnati Must Make

RM HeroldFeatured ColumnistSeptember 25, 2011

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 18:  Quarterback Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals looks for a receiver offensive guard Clint Boling #65 and half back Brian Leonard #40 of the Cincinnati Bengals against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 18, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Bengals 24-22.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

It's halftime in the San Francisco 49ers-Cincinnati Bengals game, and the score is 3-0 Bengals.

Here are the five halftime changes the Bengals must make if they are going to win this game:


5. The Bengals can't settle for field goals when they get into the red zone.

After going 12 plays and more than 70 yards on the first drive, Cincinnati bogged down near the 49ers' 10-yard line and had to settle for a field goal. With weapons like Frank Gore starting to get going, letting San Francisco stay in the game could come back to bite the Bengals.


4. Cincinnati has to keep pinning their ears back and keep pressure on Alex Smith.

Though the Bengals are the team with the rookie quarterback, Alex Smith has shown that with a lot of pressure in his face, he will make mistakes.

Hit him often.


3. The Bengals must stay out of long third downs.

Even Tom Brady tries to stay out of 3rd-and-long situations.

On the opening drive the Bengals stayed away from 3rd-and-long and scored a field goal. The subsequent drives had long third downs and all ended with punts.


2. Andy Dalton has to stop locking in on receivers.

Dalton has to get the ball to his tight end and spread the ball around to his other wideouts. He had success with Andre Caldwell early in the first half and kept trying to force the ball to him.


1. The Bengals must keep their composure.

If the second half is anything like the first, this is not going to be a shootout. So as long as the Bengals can avoid giving up any big plays, they are well on their way.