The first week of preseason isn’t known as a time of great excitement in the NFL. However, for Bengals fans, it represents more than just an exhibition game.
August is upon us which can only mean one thing: The NFL is nearly here. Before the excitement of the real NFL games begins, there is an entire month of preseason games. These games have been criticized for years for perceived lack of interest. While preseason games are meaningless to in terms of the regular season, they aren’t all bad.
In fact, the Bengals first preseason game will be downright electric. Okay, maybe “electric” is exaggerating a little (or a lot). But, there are many reasons why it’s perfectly acceptable to get excited about the Bengals first preseason game. Here are the top three reasons to watch the Bengals take on the Buccaneers on August 11.
New Faces Getting Snaps
One of the most anticipated aspects of preseason Week 1 is that fans will see the the most highly touted rookies of the 2017 draft class. Some of the most notable names include Mitch Trubisky, Dalvin Cook, and Leonard Fournette. For fans of the Men in Stripes, the two big names are John Ross, and Joe Mixon. The Bengals took Ross and Mixon with their first and second round picks respectively. The fan base is eager to see what they can do. Think of how fun it would be to see Ross streak down the sideline for a long reception or Mixon burst through the line for a big gain.
Even though the game is pointless, as far as outcome, what happens for the new players will be crucial. Considering that this is the first Bengals Nation will see of the two top rookies An impressive outing could validate their selections. While this game is meaningful to the top rookies, it is even more so for those fighting for a roster spot. In the NFL, hardly anyone is guaranteed a roster spot. The lower round draft picks are the most susceptible to being let go if their play isn’t immediately impactful. For that reason, this first game is integral for unproven players on the cusp of making the team. Two notable examples are sixth round selection Brandon Wilson or seventh round pick Mason Schreck. It’s cliched by now, but even if the games don’t matter to the fans, they are still important to many players.
Start Of A Fresh Season
Tired of hearing how terrible the 2016 season was? Sick of thinking about blown leads to the Steelers? The good news is that the first preseason game marks the time when the calendar officially switches over from last year’s failures to this year’s possibilities. Of course, there’s no guarantee that this season will be better than the last. However, there is almost assuredly a guarantee that it’s a make or break year for the current administration. Either the Bengals will win a playoff game or the coaching staff will be out looking for new jobs come January. Fans can be assured some kind of shake up is on the horizon one way or another.
The Bengals Are Back
The top reason to watch the Bengals first preseason game is that the NFL is back. Even better, the Bengals are back. This is Bengals Nation’s first look at the team they adore. Die hard fans will be psyched to see the striped helmets out on the field once again. It means DAndy Dalton, GA.J. Green, and ETyler Eifert are ready to put on a show and embark on hopefully the best season in their young careers.
In all, everyone realizes the preseason is meaningless in regards to the regular season, but as any true fan knows, that doesn’t make it any less exciting. The adrenaline starts pumping, the lights turn on, and the show begins. In the second week of August, fans will experience what they’ve been waiting for and should relish every bit of it as an appetizer to the main course that is the NFL regular season.