Cincinnati Bengals: The Effects and Outlook of the Preseason
With the preseason beginning last night in Canton, the Bengals performance left a lot to be desired.
Although we only saw the big names for a few plays, they gave the impression that there is still work to do, and one cannot help but have a little bit of apprehension in believing in all the grand claims Ochocinco has been making these past few weeks.
This slideshow will look at Cincy's preseason schedule and what it means for the Bengals, how it will test them and how it will improve them heading into week one at the Patriots.
Where will the performances come and what can these games do for team morale?
With a lot of new faces it's important that Cincinnati band together fully before the preseason is over. They need to be a cohesive unit, both to prove the sceptics wrong, and more importantly to benefit their game.
The Canton Effect
The big question coming out of the loss in Canton last night will be whether it affects the team greatly.
My perception is that the players would not have perceived this match up as more than just a training session.
What the team can take from it is a realisation of the their many flaws. Jordan Palmer who was already a big question mark at Cincinnati did not do much to secure his place in the squad, but neither did J.T. O'Sullivan, right now lets just pray there's no injury to Carson Palmer in the foreseeable future.
The majority of flaws that one could pick out from last nights match up should be taken with a pinch of salt, it's the very first time these players have lined up and played football and anyone who was expecting a superbowl performance would be overshooting the mark.
Positives to take from the game: Jordan Shipley put in a good showing as well as Adam 'Don't call me Pacman' Jones.
A Denver Bronco's riddled with injuries travels to Paul Brown stadium next weekend, and despite last years loss to them in the regular season I expect a tuned-up Cincinnati to win this one.
With injuries to Dumervil, Thomas and a whole host of others, it will be interesting to see how the Broncos play this weekend. I expect to see very little of Kyle Orton and quite a bit of Brady Quinn and Friar Tebow. I expect Brady Quinn to impress as i'm sure he's hungry to gain that starting position at some point in the season.
After another week of practice i expect to see more fluid connections between Cincys' QBs and receivers. Adam Jones will continue to impress, and a big game from the Cincy defence may be on the cards, as they look to rebound from from Canton.
Prediction: Cincinnati victory, but not by much.
If Cincinnati come out with a win it will give the team a sense that they are moving on in the right direction and provide a boost in morale no doubt.
Kevin Kolb will be looking to make an impact this preseason in what limited play time he has, in order to prove the naysayers wrong. We can expect to see him putting the Bengals corners to the test, which i believe may result in a few picks. It's a learning process for Kolb and Leon Hall, Jonathan Joseph and Adam Jones will not make it easy for him.
Cincinnati should come into this game with building confidence after a win at Denver, and it is by no means an easy game. Especially since Philly will most likely be coming off of a win against Jacksonville.
This match has the potential to provide Cincy with a setback if they lose here, the same goes with Philadelphia. One of these teams will benefit hugely with a win here, one may feel that they need to go back to the drawing board in order to flesh out the problems before the end of the preseason
A win here would be good for Cincinnati, and my prediction is thus. A Cincinnati victory but by no means a convincing one.
I'm expecting to see Carson Palmer play well here but a win here and a strong performance from Palmer does not mean that he's back to being an great Quarterback (no offence Buffalo!) By this point Palmer should be connecting well with all of his receivers and starting to flow properly.
Benson should put up a lot of yards in this one for however long he's there, he's made it clear that he wants to get off to a flying start and i expect him to do so here.
The Bengals defence should rack up a few sacks in this one, as Buffalo show few signs of drastic improvement, and if they do i don't expect it until later in the season.
A win here will give Cincinnati confidence heading to Indianapolis and it will confirm for them that what they have been doing this offseason has been a step in the right direction.
Prediction: A big win here for Cincy
Well lets all hope for some Curtis Painter in this one!
This one may be determined by how much Peyton Manning we see. Cincinnati will be looking to capitalise on a good preseason showing and beat the Colts here, but the sceptic in me is weary. With just one week to go before the season Peyton may have some serious game time here and i expect him to use it to full effect.
With that in mind expect Joseph, Hall and Jones to have a lot to do, and expect Odom, Maualuga and co to work their shoes off trying to get to 18.
Batman and Robin will no doubt be very vocal about ending the preseason on a high and knocking off the Super bowl runners up, and i think they may struggle in this one if history is anything to go by!
Palmer will sink or swim in this one and it may set the tone for the rest of the season.
A win here from Cincy could hugely boost morale heading into week 1 against the Patriots and i believe that a win here will result in a win in week 1. On the counter a loss here may result in a demoralised Cincinnati heading into week 1 downbeat and with the schedule as rough as it is they can't afford to start on the wrong foot.
Prediction: Colts win....sigh