Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton says he never should have thrown the ball that turned into his first NFL interception, which came with 3:54 left in Sunday's loss to the 49ers.
"He undercut it and I shouldn't have thrown it," Dalton said of cornerback Carlos Rogers' play in front of wide receiver Andre Caldwell on an out pattern.
Caldwell said Rogers beat him to the spot. On the second interception, about two minutes later, safety Reggie Smith made a sliding interception at the 49ers 14 and tight end Jermaine Gresham called himself out.
"I should have been looking back shoulder," Gresham said.
» After Sunday's 1-for-10 effort on third down, the Bengals are now 2-for-21 in the last two games.
"We have to go back and find out what we're good at," said offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. "We have to establish some kind of running game and move the ball on first and second down so we're not third and nine and 10. And if we are, someone has to make a play."
» Middle linebacker Rey Maualuga, who forced the fumble that put the Bengals ahead, 6-3, with nine minutes left, expects to get fined after he was called for unnecessary roughness when he was called for piling on after cornerback Nate Clements made a tackle on fullback Bruce Miller, but he thinks it will be wrong.
"We've been saying all week to run to the ball ... and I did and I couldn't stop," he said.
» Maualuga wasn't on the field for the winning drive because he had to go to the locker room to get an IV for cramps even though he wanted to stay in.
» The Bengals pulled rookie right guard Clint Boling on the second series and went with Mike McGlynn, a four-year center-guard they picked up on waivers from the Eagles just before the season.
"Clint Boiling struggled early. That's a very good defense. McGlynn's been in the league a long time," Gruden said. "We have to find the right people to play."
» Running back Cedric Benson, held to 64 yards on 17 carries, was frustrated that he didn't finish off his run that would have been a touchdown on the first series. On first down from the San Francisco 6, Benson bolted off the right side and looked like he was about to score, but said a DB tripped him up at the last instant at the 2. Yet he said he should have made a play.
"Being aggressive and leaning forward and trying to get the most out of every play, sometimes it gets the better of you," he said. "I'ver got to finish those."
» Benson confirmed he has filed a grievance with the National Labor Relations Board against the NFL Players Association for how it has handled his three-game suspension stemming from two legal incidents in Texas.
Reports say the league and the NFLPA agreed that eight players—including Benson and Bengals cornerback Adam Jones—could be disciplined for legal problems during the lockout. Plus, Benson said he is surprised he's been called back to New York since NFL commissioner Roger Goodell didn't suspend him following the first incident on Memorial Day Weekend 2010 and their ensuing meeting before the 2010 training camp.
"We thought that was behind us,'' said Benson, who is appealing the decision Tuesday with Goodell. "We've got lot of good cards to play. A lot of evidence. A lot of facts. We'll present those things."
Benson has been lumped into a group with Titans receiver Kenny Britt and Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib, which has not gone unnoticed by his teammates.
"They support me," he said. "They'll bring up comparisons and say, 'You're selling cupcakes compared to them.' "
» Head coach Marvin Lewis said the club has known about the Benson suspension for three weeks and has plannned accordingly: "That hasn't affected anything. It's unfortunate that somehow New York (home of the NFL office) seems to want to put things out publicly all the time before the thing's done. I'm amazed it stayed under wraps for three weeks."
» An NFL source confirmed during the game that running back Larry Johnson is coming in for a workout Tuesday. He had a 100-yard game filling in for Benson in 2009 annd was in camp with the Dolphins this past summer.
» The crowd was 43,363, lowest for a home opener since 1981 at Riverfront Stadium. The Bengals went on to win the AFC and when they lost that home finale of the season to the 49ers, it was before 56,796.
» Wide receiver A.J. Green, who had four catches for 29 yards, said his toe was fine after he was limited in practice Thursday and Friday.
» The Bengals' five sacks (four from the defensive line in Jon Fanene's two and one each for Geno Atkins and Frostee Rucker and a half each for safety Chris Crocker and linebacker Dan Skuta) are their most in two years. They had six in the Sept. 20, 2009 win in Green Bay.