3 sneaky good Bengals performances in Week 2 of preseason

Trey Hill, Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Trey Hill, Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Bengals had a few sneaky good performances despite their defeat at the hands of the New York Giants. 

As in every preseason game, there were still promising showings from several players, some of which you might have missed because you did not watch the whole game or because social media is not giving them their due. No matter the reason, here are three under-the-radar performances from Bengals players in their second preseason game.

Trey Hill

With all eyes on Cordell Volson, it was easy to overlook some of the other linemen’s play. Trey Hill is an example of such an omission.

Hill played well last year in the preseason, but he did not get many opportunities to play until later in the season.

In the week leading up to the second preseason game against the G-men, offensive line coach Frank Pollack told reporters that Hill was in the mix at left guard along with Volson and Jackson Carman.

Hill performed very well in pass protection and run blocking against the Giants. He did give up some ground on a couple of plays, but nothing major.

Lamont Gaillard, who started at right guard, switched spots with Hill in the second quarter. After halftime, Gilliard stayed in at center while Hill played right guard until Gilliard left with an injury early in the third quarter. Hill then went back to center, where he played the rest of the evening.

The second-year center out of Georgia will likely be the backup center behind Ted Karras. But Hill did enough to show he can play right guard if necessary. There could also be a situation where the Bengals need a left guard and feel more comfortable moving Karras into that role and bring in Hill at center.

Justin Rigg

It is difficult to say that a tight end had a good game when he was not targeted throughout the game. However, Justin Rigg had a sneaky good game.

He held up well in pass protection several times. And while that might not be the most exciting thing in the world, it is essential in a Zac Taylor-led offense.

Several sacks over the past three seasons were due to tight ends struggling to block one-on-one against defensive ends. Drew Sample improved in that area, but he was not perfect. Former Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah was not good at all with that particular skill set.

Rigg, an undrafted rookie free agent out of Kentucky, performed admirably in the blocking game. Hopefully, he will get more targets in practice to show the coaching staff what he can do in the passing attack.

Nick Eubanks also had a couple of nice pass blocks, but Rigg was the only tight end who had to pass block, one-on-one, against a defensive end. With Drew Sample still on the mend and third-stringer Mitchell Wilcox recovering from injury, Zac Taylor will surely look for which one of the other guys can step up in that area. Rigg stepped up Sunday night.

Rigg also had a few nice blocks in the run game including one where he got to the second level and pancake-blocked a defensive back on a nice Jacques Patrick run.

Look for Rigg to get more snaps in Cincinnati’s final preseason game. Perhaps he can make a push for the third tight end spot. If not, his blocking alone could get him a spot on the practice squad.

Allan George

Another player who had a very good unheralded game Sunday night was Allan George. The undrafted rookie corner out of Vanderbilt got a lot more opportunities against the Giants, and he made the most of them.

In the second quarter, Giants quarterback Tyrod Taylor scrambled out of the pocket and attempted to hit receiver Richie James. However, George, who was in man-to-man coverage, was able to track James across the field and make a nice hit to break up the pass.

George made a similar play at the start of the fourth quarter to prevent a Giants touchdown. This time, he was able to make a play on the ball in the back of the end zone against receiver Marcus Kemp on a pass from Davis Webb.

Another part of George’s game on display was his physicality. He plays as if he wants to be known as a hard hitter. That is great, as long as he does not forget to wrap up. However, he will learn in the NFL that it is not enough just to hit hard. Defenders must get the ball-carrier to the ground. Lesson learned.

In the end, George was credited with five tackles and three passes defended. He will surely get a lot of looks in the final preseason game. With Cam Taylor-Britt out dealing with a core injury, there could be a roster spot up for grabs in the defensive back unit. George has officially made his presence known in that competition.

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