Bengals News

Cincinnati Bengals: 3 storylines for Week 2 exhibition play against the Redskins

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KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 10: Auden Tate #19 of the Cincinnati Bengals catches a pass against Michael Hunter #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs in the fourth quarter during a preseason game at Arrowhead Stadium on August 10, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 10: Auden Tate #19 of the Cincinnati Bengals catches a pass against Michael Hunter #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs in the fourth quarter during a preseason game at Arrowhead Stadium on August 10, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) /
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LOUISVILLE, KY – NOVEMBER 17: Ryan Finley #15 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack looks to pass against the Louisville Cardinals in the first quarter of the game at Cardinal Stadium on November 17, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY – NOVEMBER 17: Ryan Finley #15 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack looks to pass against the Louisville Cardinals in the first quarter of the game at Cardinal Stadium on November 17, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

While the Bengals are set to ride with Andy Dalton in 2019, the backup situation needs greater clarification. In something of an interesting twist, head coach Zac Taylor will try Jeff Driskel as a wide receiver. Perhaps this is Taylor looking to duplicate the success of New Orleans Saints utility man Taysom Hill.

While that’s a different story,  fourth-round pick Ryan Finley could get an extended look as the backup to Dalton. Finley had a good debut in Kansas City. He completed 13 passes on 18 attempts for 109 yards. He’d add one touchdown and one interception to his final line.

The quarterback depth chart in Cincinnati is an important one, as it is in any other NFL city. For the Bengals, it carries added significance as Dalton was injured last season, and a patchwork offensive line makes the backup spot that much more critical this year.

Finley earned praise from one NFL ”insider” who liked what the rookie showed in his professional debut. While it’s unlikely he or Driskel would ever realistically pose a challenge to Dalton, Cincinnati would be smart to give Finley the kind of time the preseason can offer. In a year where Taylor and the Bengals will be assessed early and often, expect the quarterback position to receive critical scrutiny.

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