The Bengals didn’t get to 4-0, but there were some really solid performances that hopefully made the Bengals’ decisions easier.
The Bengals lost their winning streak as they lost to the Colts 27-26. A 3-1 record in the preseason is still solid, though. Even though it has no actual bearing on the season, it’s a great start to the year for the team and should give them som momentum heading into Week 1. However, some people that needed to prove themselves showed up.
The engine of the offense today was Jeff Driskel, who should have secured the backup job. He played excellently, completing 14/20 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. He did not throw an interception. Driskel has been a stud all preseason, and tonight was the icing on the cake. His main competition, Matt Barkley, played considerably worse, going 0/3. Logan Woodside played okay, but he is not a threat to make the team.
The rest of the offense played pretty well, too. Mark Walton left a lot to be desired, but at least he rushed for positive yardage and scored a touchdown. Tra Carson had a great receiving line (4/23) and Brian Hill was the leading rusher (8/38), leaving a tough decision facing the Bengals about who to keep.
The receivers had a solid game as well, led by Josh Malone. Malone caught 2 passes for 48 yards and hauled in a touchdown. Auden Tate also had a good game in his push to make the roster, posting 2 catches for 33 yards. Cody Core, his main competition, missed the game with an injury. Mason Schreck, a 4th string tight end, led the team in receiving, catching 6 passes for 51 yards.
The Bengals slipped on defense near the end of the game, but there were still some individually good performances. Malik Jefferson and Hardy Nickerson led the team in tackles with 7, followed closely by Trayvon Henderson with 6. Nobody had a better defensive game than Henderson, who also had an interception. That may be enough to get Henderson onto the final roster. Sam Hubbard also had the only sack of the game for the Bengals.
Unfortunately, the Bengals could not complete the preseason sweep. However, the team looks ready to compete in the regular season.