Again, if you're the type who enjoys blinking or slight turns of the head away from the area of the television, you're probably going to miss the 49ers' drives. To begin the second quarter, Vernon Davis had a dropped pass and Alex Smith had a bad pass. That's really about it, and Andy Lee was called on to punt yet again.
The Bengals took the field and benefited from a Parys Harlason offsides call, but good pass defense from the 49ers, mostly from Carlos Rogers, forced an eventual punt. Rogers got in front of a pass on the right side and almost picked it off, which is par the course for him. A.J. Green threw aside three or four 49ers players just before that, but he was still pushed out of bounds.
Alex Smith ran the ball on a designed run, after faking to Frank Gore, and was blown up bad by Nate Clements. The 49ers were called for holding on that play and they got set up with 2nd and 18, Gore got a big run to set up 3rd-and-6, and it was Michael Crabtree who got the reception to convert to first down. Unfortunately, the offensive line continues to struggle, shuffling Adam Snyder and Chilo Rachal, and then Jonathan Goodwin leaves the field with an injury. So naturally, Smith is sacked on third down and the 49ers have to punt.
Ahmad Brooks gets a big hit on Andy Dalton to start the next Cincinnati drive, forcing his helmet from his head. Then, Tarell Brown has excellent coverage on A.J. Green on second down. The 49ers go with a deep zone on third-and-long, giving up the underneath pass, and the Bengals punt again.
Then the 49ers take the field and actually start to put together a good drive. The offensive line continues to suck, but Vernon Davis gets a first down, and then Kendall Hunter catches a pass on third-and-long, and turns it into a first down by powering through Manny Lawson.
Michael Crabtree hauls in a beautiful catch for an eight-yard reception just after the two-minute warning. Alex Smith's next pass, to Joshua Morgan, is incomplete as the throw gets there a little late. Gore goes on 3rd-and-2, and doesn't get anything, the Bengals clog up the line. No offensive line blocking at all on that play, and the 49ers have to punt.
The Bengals didn't take a shot and let the clock run out to end the half. They lead 3-0.