A crowd estimated at more than 6,000 at Paul Brown Stadium on Saturday saw the Bengals limit the full-contact part of the scrimmage to short-yardage situations. The defense, led by tackles Domata Peko and Geno Atkins, got the upper hand.
"We wanted to get through some plays, simulate the game as much as we can with everybody off the field, having to call plays and substitutions with the 25-second clock," coach Marvin Lewis said. "There were a lot of positives."
Earlier in the week, the offense got the better of the defense during a short-yardage drill.
"We didn't do too well in that period, so today was a good time to redeem ourselves," Peko said. "You've got to play live ball, and that short-yardage and goal-line (drill) was live."
Dalton, starting his second season as the starting quarterback, completed all five of his passes during the early part of the workout, including a pair to tight end Jermaine Gresham.
During last year's training camp scrimmage, the Bengals gave Dalton a lot more plays as he tried to learn the offense.
"It's a lot different because I'm not learning a lot of new stuff," Dalton said. "I'm picking up on a few new things but for the most part, I know what we're doing. I understand and grasp everything we're doing with protections. I understand that if I miss something one time, I know right away what I did wrong."
The Bengals held 11 players out of the scrimmage because of injuries, including five cornerbacks. First-round draft choice Dre Kirkpatrick has not practiced during camp because of a knee injury, while veterans Adam Jones and Jason Allen have also been unable to practice.
"I'm not all that concerned because we're going to get some of these guys back," defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer said. "I think we have a good group and I feel good about the group. I think they'll compete, they'll do what we ask them to do and they all will tackle. It will be a good battle for all of those guys."
Kicker Mike Nugent made his four field goal tries from 35, 40, 46 and 52 yards. Nugent was limited by a sore hamstring early in camp.