Cincinnati Bengals' Winners and Losers from Preseason Game 3
If the third preseason game is the traditional “dress rehearsal” for the regular season, then the Cincinnati Bengals may be in for a rough opening night.
Playing against one of the elite teams in the league, the Bengals struggled in nearly every facet of the game in a 27-13 loss to the Green Bay Packers. But it wasn’t all bad. Intertwined between the rough play were a few glimmers of hope.
Let’s take a look at the Bengals winners and losers for preseason Week 3.
Winner: Backup Linebackers
Micah Johnson, Dontay Moch and Dan Skuta each had nice games with Johnson getting a sack and a fumble recovery and Moch picking up a sack. The depth at the position is noticeable. Johnson did leave the game with an injury, leaving his availability in question.
Sure, Terence Newman had an interception, but for the second straight week, an elite quarterback ripped the secondary apart. This time it was Aaron Rodgers, who completed 12-of-22 passes for 146 yards. The bad news is that the Bengals will see their share of elite QBs this season, including both Manning brothers. They will need to improve.
Winner: Marvin Jones
The Bengals took Jones in the fifth round, and the rookie is starting to look like a steal. He leads the team in receptions and yards and picked up his first touchdown of the preseason. He has been mostly working against backups, but the talent is easy to see.
Loser: Passing Game
Jones aside, the Bengals passing game was brutal. Quarterback Andy Dalton was just 5-of-17 for 40 yards and looked hurried all day. The offensive line needs to take some blame, and the Bengals receivers did drop a few passes, but there might be some concern. Baltimore awaits in Week 1, and the passing game will need to be much better.
Winner: Mike Nugent
OK, kicker is not the most exciting position, but when you have a bad one, he costs you games. Nugent appears to be over his hamstring injury and kicked two field goals.
Loser: Red-Zone Offense
The Bengals wouldn’t have needed Nugent had they been able to convert in the red zone. It has been a common problem over the years, and it cropped up again Thursday.
Winner: Turnover Differential
All three of the Bengals turnovers came from the backups, and with the first team on the field, Cincy was plus-two in that department. That’s the kind of performance that leads to wins.
Loser: Running Game
Both BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Bernard Scott missed the game with injuries, and in their place, Cedric Peerman and Brian Leonard combined for a whopping 28 yards. Neither will be called upon much in the regular season, but the running game still needs to be a concern.
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