The Cincinnati Bengals will face off against the Indianapolis Colts to end the preseason on Thursday. As much as every NFL fan is excited to get the regular season starter, this is an important week for any position still up grabs, as well as the final spots on all NFL teams 53-man roster.
The offense is pretty secured in most positions, with the exception on a third and fourth wide receiver to start the year. Brandon Tate and Dane Sanzenbacher are two key players while Marvin Jones recovers from an injury keeping him out until the bye week. Look for the first team to try to get more consistent after the Arizona Cardinals game exposed some mistakes in the passing game.
It is almost certain we will see a high veteran presence at the corner back position, but with Darqueze Dennard waiting in the wings and Dre Kirkpatrick showing he can make some plays, it might be interesting to see how long Newman and Leon Hall can be the #1 and #2 CB’s for the Bengals in the regular season, and can they stay healthy? As for the rest of the defense, they are set at almost every position and are looking at depth potential with Danieal Manning at safety as well as others.
This was a huge hot button with almost every Bengals fan who suffered through the Sunday night Pittsburgh game last year. It has been a major weak point on this team last season and showed some holes so far in preseason. Brandon Tate, Dane Sanzenbacher, and Adam Jones have been fairly solid on the return side, but defending kicks and punts was the largest issue. Expect the Bengals to maybe look deeper for speed on those plays with Dre Kirkpatrick and maybe even Darqueze Dennard to get him on the field early.
The Bengals have some depth issues but if their starting lines on both sides of the ball remain healthy, this could be a very dangerous team this season.