1. Short stint for Joe Burrow
All week long, Bengals fans looked forward to seeing former No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow in action for the first time since he was injured in Week 11 last season. Burrow was greeted with a standing ovation as he entered the game in the first quarter but that was as exciting as it got for Burrow in his return to the starting lineup.
Zac Taylor made it clear that Burrow would be playing three snaps in this game and that’d be it for his starting quarterback. He wasn’t kidding, as Burrow attempted just one pass (which went incomplete) and handed the ball off twice.
We didn’t see much of Burrow but at least he got into the game, even if it was just for three snaps.
2. Another drop for Ja’Marr Chase
For anyone who has been following the Bengals this summer, you’ll know that it’s been a rough go for rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase, especially in the drops department. That continued in Sunday’s game, as Burrow looked Chase’s way on his lone pass. Chase dropped the ball and it was an incomplete pass.
People on social media were clamoring for Taylor to keep Chase in the game but he was pulled with the rest of the first-string offense. This was the right decision, as Chase will be an important part of this team, even with the difficult preseason.
3. Rookie guards on second-team offensive line
When the second-team offensive line trotted out in the first quarter, the two guard positions were filled by rookies D’Ante Smith (left guard) and Jackson Carman (right guard). This doesn’t bode well for Michael Jordan whatsoever.
The Bengals might decide to keep Jordan around but that’d give them more guards than they need. Either way, not seeing him with the second team isn’t a good thing for him moving forward.
4. Chris Evans player to watch this year
Rookie sixth-round running back Chris Evans dazzled in the preseason finale with the highlight coming on a 29-yard reception for a touchdown in the second quarter. Evans is going to be someone the Bengals hopefully use in all facets of the game and he’s proved during preseason that he can handle whatever role Cincinnati wants him to fill.
5. Evan McPherson is the kicker Bengals fans have dreamed of
Okay, maybe this is way too early to say but so far, Evan McPherson has looked the part of one of the league’s best kickers. The latest highlight for the fifth-round pick out of Florida was the no-doubter he sailed through the uprights from 57 yards out to end the first half. It was a beautiful sight.
The kicker battle is over and McPherson could finally be the guy who doesn’t make Bengals fans nervous when he trots onto the field to attempt a game-winning field goal. Fingers crossed.