In the heavily fortified confines of Paul Brown Stadium, a less-than sold-out crowd watched the Bengals' passing offense cautiously take a few steps forward. Like a baby learning to walk, the Bengals first-team offense showed some semblance of character but have yet to break the "big play" with the "big player." Yet contributions were available elsewhere.
(Photographs Courtesy of the Cincinnati Bengals at Bengals.com)
There is a very good reason why Jordan Shipley was Colt McCoy's favorite target in college and the Bengals are the benefactors of this underestimated rookie. Shipley had five receptions for 50 yards and a long of 17, fueling the offensive production enjoyed by virtually every quarterback the Bengals had to offer.
Luckily Mike Zimmer is the defensive coordinator, otherwise Bengals' fans might have a lot more to worry about. Orton hooked up with Royal and Lloyd to make the first quarter a first-team failure. The defense managed to lock down the Broncos offense pretty much the rest of the way, yielding only a field-goal near the end of the first-half and then not another score until Tim Tebow's dash for the goal line as time expired.
O'Sullivan had a respectable game while Jordan Palmer did not have much opportunity to make a case for himself.
Sully was seven for 15 for 118 yards—the longest of which was for 46 yards.
Bengals' backs were all over the field in a very successful display of skill.
Bernard Scott carried for 65 yards on eight attempts leading the way. Newcomer James Johnson debuted with a solid 42 yards on 10 carries resulting in a goal-line touchdown. Cedric Peerman made his case with 31 yards on eight attempts, while the better known Cedric, as in Cedric Benson, added 30 yards on nine carries to bring in his own touchdown.
Carson played the mid-range and over-the-middle game completing 12 of 15 for 105 yards—19 being the longest. Palmer was rated a 95.8 but showed the emphasis of the team is to build on the short game which eluded the team last season.
Jermaine Gresham did not dissapoint in his home debut with three receptions on all three opportunities where he was targeted. Gresham compiled 37 yards with 19 being the longest on the day.
David Jones showed Denver why Brady Quinn is no longer with the Browns as he picked off a sideline pass and marched into the end-zone.