Daxton Hill shows out for Bengals in preseason Week 2

Cincinnati Bengals, Daxton Hill (Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY NETWORK)
Cincinnati Bengals, Daxton Hill (Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY NETWORK) /

Daxton Hill came out the gate firing on all cylinders for the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday night vs. the New York Giants. Hill only appeared in the 1st half, but he made his presence felt.

Early in the game, Hill made an open field tackle 1-on-1 on a 3rd down to force a 4th down right before the Giants hit the marker. He showed his speed and quickness, and ability to make an open field tackle against a shifty athlete on the outside for the Giants, making that job even harder to do.

The Bengals have had trouble in the past wrapping up and finding true tacklers. Last season they were a lot better but even had moments where they let chunk yards be picked up after missed tackles. However, Hill is known for his ability to tackle and hit, and he showed that throughout his few series on the field with the Bengals Sunday night.

In the next series, he intercepted a pass off Daniel Jones on an epic diving snag and got up to return it for 20+ yards. Hill was hitting on all his spots and seemed highly comfortable against New York’s first-team offense, which is impressive considering Hill is just a rookie in his 2nd career game.

Daxton Hill is already making a name for himself on the Cincinnati Bengals

If Hill keeps playing the way he is, then he could earn serious playing time regardless of whether Jessie Bates returns. Hill seems ready, and that is the best possible sign and scenario the Bengals coaching staff and the Cincinnati fan base could see.

As Week 1 approaches and we wait and see if Bates will return to the field or continue to hold out, knowing Hill is ready and can play at a high level should leave you a little less worried about the loss of Jessie Bates regardless of how good of a player he is.

How much he can do on the defensive end makes Hill a talented player. He’s just a high IQ player. He can line up along the edge, in the box, or play deep as a free safety or strong safety. In the 2nd quarter, he applied serious pressure on Daniel Jones and almost forced the ball out of his hands. However, Jones got the ball out and made an excellent play, but Hill was very close to causing a 2nd turnover.

Hill’s final stat line through two total quarters of play time was four tackles, two assisted tackles, and one interception. A stout game for the 1st rounder out of Michigan. The most significant thing is not really their stat line either when it comes to preseason football.

Yes, Hill had a pretty good one, but the most important thing is how they approach the football and whether the game looks too fast or not. Hill seems to have adjusted very well from the college to the pros, and often, you see rookies struggle with that transition, and rightfully so.

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It is not an easy thing to do, but Hill looks ready, he looks like he’s been here before and seems like he understands his schemes and where Lou Anarumo wants him to be, and that is precisely what is going to generate more snaps for him throughout the season. Cincinnati takes on the Los Angeles Rams in preseason Week 3 on Saturday, August 27th. Then the focus will shift to the Week 1 matchup on September 11th against the Pittsburgh Steelers.