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Cincinnati Bengals’ preseason Week 1 by the numbers

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CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 11: Alex Erickson #12 of the Cincinnati Bengals gets tackled after a reception against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the third quarter of a preseason game at Paul Brown Stadium on August 11, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 11: Alex Erickson #12 of the Cincinnati Bengals gets tackled after a reception against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the third quarter of a preseason game at Paul Brown Stadium on August 11, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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With Week 2 of preseason upon us, it’s a good time to look back at Week 1. The end result was a victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Yet, something more interesting than the end result were the statistics.

The first week of preseason has wrapped up and the storylines are flying. It’s everyone’s first chance at analyzing every little piece of each team’s first game. More importantly, it’s the first time in months there are stats to talk about. Here are some of the most interesting numbers from the Bengals’ Week 1 game against Tampa Bay.

5.2 – Joe Mixon’s Yards Per Carry

Fans were eager to see what they could expect from Joe Mixon in the NFL. The powerful running back didn’t disappoint as he ran for 31 yards on six carries and ended up with a beefy 5.2 average. Mixon looked comfortable running the ball between the tackles and also displayed competent receiving skills with a catch for eleven yards. Mixon was certainly impressive, but a part of it was the offensive line opening huge holes for him. It may finally be time to get excited about the Bengals running game.

58.8 – Andy Dalton’s Passer Rating

While Mixon had a great night, Andy Dalton most certainly did not. Dalton led the Bengals on a long drive with a nice mix of runs and passes. However, with the Bengals deep in Buccaneers territory, Dalton threw a costly interception. If not for the interception his stats weren’t bad (four-of-five for 38 yards.) Alas, this is representative of Bengals Nation’s frustrations with him. He takes the team close enough to see the promised land but inevitably fails to take them across the goal-line.

131 – Jeff Driskel’s Total Yards

Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals /

Cincinnati Bengals

To make matters worse for Dalton, the two other quarterbacks on the roster ended up with better ratings than he did. AJ McCarron finished with a 79.7 rating. But, it was third-string quarterback Jeff Driskel who stole the show. Driskel threw for 97 yards and a touchdown, connecting on eight of nine passes. He also tacked on another 34 yards and a touchdown rushing. The second-year player was the game’s leader passing and rushing by the time the clock read zeros. Driskel’s chances of playing at all in the regular season are slim to none, but it will be interesting to see how he does in week two.

3 – The Number Of Catches By The Bengals Leading Receiver

In a game with many receivers getting touches, one of them rose above the others. Well maybe more like just inched above the others. Second-year receiver Alex Erickson secured three catches for 50 yards. That was one better than three other players and 27 yards better than Tra Carson who had the next highest yardage total. The former Wisconsin Badger played sparingly last year but looks to expand his role this season. If he continues to land at the top of the stat sheet for catches and yards he will be looking at more playing time in the future.

5 – Kicks Made

Last year, the placekicking was a huge issue for the Bengals. As a result, there is a preseason battle for the job. In the kicking duel between Randy Bullock and Jake Elliott, neither player faltered in week one. Elliott made one field goal and one extra point. Bullock made two field goals and one extra point. The incumbent Bullock probably has the inside track to keeping the job, since he made the most impressive kick of the night (54-yard field goal.) Look for this position battle to heat up Week 2 as the team tries to get a good look at both players.

Next: Bengals vs. Chiefs Preview

Preseason is an interesting time because it only provides a partial picture of the truth. The scores are irrelevant, the rosters are huge, and the stats can be misleading. Nonetheless, preseason stats can fun to look at and give some sort of indication of how the season may go.

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