The Bengals’ team rushing was 18th in the NFL with 109.1 yards per game, which was not far ahead of the 21st ranked Titans with 105.4 yards per game.
The passing offense is also closely matched, as the Bengals hold a 17th ranked passing game with 223.6 yards per game, while the Titans ranked 22nd with 207.7 yards per game. The Bengals ranked 12th in offensive team scoring at 24.4 points per game in 2012, while the Titans were 23rd with 20.6 points per game.
But it is the defense that is expected to keep these Bengals a Super Bowl contender in 2013. The 12th ranked rushing defense only allowed 107.2 yards per game last year rushing. They ranked 7th overall in passing only allowing 212.5 yards per game, and only gave up 20 points per game, ranking 8th in the NFL in points giving up by defenses.
One could easily say that the preseason does not matter, but to Bengals nation, every game seems to matter when this team could win the franchise’s first championship.
Fox 19 recently asked A.J. Green how he felt about the Bengals being predicted to be the AFC Super Bowl team vs. the Atlanta Falcons. Green, without even thinking into the question answered:
"We have not even played one full game yet, it’s not easy getting to the Super Bowl, lets see what happens."
A very humble group on and off the field, the Bengals are not overlooking any team or position they find themselves in, showing great composure from the veterans. I don’t feel a win is as important as seeing more playing time from some of the rookies tonight. With Hawkins out for most of the season, Marvin Lewis now has a very tough decision in deciding which rookie will fill his shoes the best.
I do look for Andy Dalton to start off hot this game. He reportedly looked good all week-long in practices. One can easily tell the now-veteran quarterback is focusing on better decision-making and controlling all phases of a tempo-demanding offense that Jay Gruden runs. His quick and precise decision-making is looking stronger and stronger as the regular season approaches.
Tonight may just be Game 2 of the preseason, but for a Bengals team hoping to win it all, preseason or regular season, every game is another opportunity to grow and inch closer towards their ultimate goal.