Last week my article went up on Stripe Hype entitled Bengals Preseason Opener: What To Watch For. Now that the game is in the books, it’s time to look at the aftermath of the game; good things and bad.
First, the things that fans shouldn’t be overly concerned with. The Bengals won the game 17-6 which is generally a good thing, however, it is the preseason and final scores are never important as other things weigh much more heavily. Next, forget about final stats of the offensive starters. They played the first quarter and just started to seem to get things going before being pulled from the game. Finally, the blocked punt for a touchdown was great, but remember, there were shifts in personnel on both teams at that point.
Now let’s take a look at the things that should be taken away from this game.
First, a strong start was very important for Andy Dalton and the offense. They struggled all season last year trying to ignite the fire in the beginning of their games. There are mixed reviews of how the first team offense did in their preseason opener.
The good: On their second drive, Dalton seemed to get control of his offense and took the team on a lasting 76-yard drive down to the Jets 4-yard line. The bad: The Bengals did start slowly with a three and out on offense as it looked as though Dalton and his receivers were tying to get on the same page. The ugly: The Bengals second drive ended with a field goal after a first and goal from the 5-yard line. Red zone efficiency was a major concern from last year and their one trip inside the 20 resulted in yet another field goal. You could credit A.J. Green for that after his drop on a slant route as Dalton delivered a catchable ball and Green has Darrelle Revis beat cleanly off the line.