The Bengals survived preseason Week 4 with no major injuries. Now, the focus moves to the Week 1 opener against the New York Jets.
Another come-from-behind loss left the Bengals with a 1-3 record for the preseason. The Indianapolis Colts were able to manhandle the Cincinnati backups, 13-10. The four most loathed games of the NFL season are over and the real deal is around the corner. Marvin Lewis and Co. were able to escape the finale with no serious injuries.
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The only thing that was bruised happened to be the Bengals’ ego. Once again, after taking the lead, the backups weren’t able to keep the momentum going. The game was meaningless but stood as a reminder. If the Bengals suffer injuries that go farther than second-teamers, there are definitely some issues.
Overall, the game delivered what true fans and coaches wanted. The rookies and backups were put on display. The first half was truly a defensive struggle. Both teams battled it out with serious emotion. The final cuts to the 53-man roster have to be finished by 4 p.m. ET Saturday.
Defense To The Rescue
The solid defensive performance was a blessing in disguise. Coach Lewis thought it wise to sit the defensive starters. According to Karlos Dunlap, the strength of the Bengals defense will be the linebacker corps. With the first-teamers watching from the sideline, the first half was interesting indeed. Nick Vigil, P.J. Dawson, and Trevor Roach received the majority of the snaps. They lived up to the hype.
The biggest highlight of the first half was a Vigil interception. With the Colts driving and faced with a third-and-fourteen, Stephen Morris tried to force a deep completion. The errant pass didn’t find his end zone target. Instead, Vigil made a leaping pick, to end the threat.
"“Nick is everything we expected he would be, and I think Trevor just keeps battling, which is good. He’s playing his way into an opportunity to stay here, which is great. He’s showing good things. We’ll see on the tape — making tackles and how I made the tackles is still different — hopefully, it’ll be great.”"
The New Guy
Alex Erickson continues to shine. If there were any doubts about him making the cut, his performance laid them to rest. Erickson sparkled, on the Bengals only TD drive. He hauled in two long passes to keep the march alive. His punt return skills? He eluded a defender and turned nothing into a 14-yard gain.
Tra Carson could become a permanent part of the Orange and Black. He had several hard runs reminiscent of Harold Green. He’s a powerful RB that keeps his legs moving. He would be a welcome addition, relieving Giovani Bernard or Jeremy Hill.
Now, it’s on to the New York Jets. But, first…roster cuts.