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Benson was so inspired to play well that he got a little too excited early in the game.
"There were a few times were I may have gotten a little too hyped up, a little too antsy," he said. "A couple of drives, I found myself having to calm myself down and gather my emotions to stay poised. Once I got past that, we were good to go. Keep it rolling."
While Benson did the bruising work, Palmer -- playing with a brace on his sprained left (non-throwing) thumb for the second straight week -- piled up the points. Palmer threw short touchdown passes to different receivers on the first four drives.
Chicago hadn't given up so many first-half points since 2003.
Forced to throw, Jay Cutler had a tough time against a Bengals defense missing its best pass rusher. Antwan Odom had surgery last week for a torn Achilles' tendon. In its first game without him, Cincinnati barely missed him.
Cutler got a two-year extension last week through the 2013 season, an extra $20 million guaranteed as a sign of the Bears' faith in him. In his first game since the show of confidence, Cutler threw three interceptions, fumbled two snaps and finished 26 of 37 for 251 yards.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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