While the Bengals won, the starting units on both sides of the football played passable at best in what was a rather ugly affair overall.
Quarterback Andy Dalton did much to calm those fans who still have questions about his ability. His pocket presence and ability to lead the unit downfield after countless miserable efforts from the special teams unit put his offense in a bad position speak volumes about how he meshes with new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson.
The first-team defense did not surrender an offensive touchdown despite losing linebacker Vontaze Burfict to an injury early on in the contest. Predictably, Arizona was held to less than 100 rushing yards, and Cincinnati's lone touchdown came on a Terence Newman interception that he took back in the other direction.
Coach Marvin Lewis put it best for the media:
We got a lot of work for our offense in backed-up situations because of the penalties we drew on special teams. That’s not exactly what you want, but the offense perked up in the second quarter and moved the ball well. On defense, we had some negative plays, but overall, the effort — and of course the point total — was what you are looking for.
While ugly, the performance put a spotlight on areas still in need of polish with the regular season approaching.
Let's break down the performance of each unit to provide a better look at where the Bengals will surely look to improve before these games start to matter.