The Bengals offensive starters managed to quell concerns about the team’s ability to score points by putting up 2 touchdowns in 3 drives. The other drive ended when a fourth-and-one at Buffalo’s 43 was stopped short.
Of course, the offense clicked so well while running the no-huddle attack, an old friend from the happy offensive years of 2005-2006, but the antithesis of the run-first, ball control offense Marvin Lewis seems to prefer.
–Personal input here–why not use the no huddle and go ahead an get up by 2 scores, then switch the grind-it-out stuff later?? Perhaps this is the plan?
Cedric Benson was solid, with 50 yards on 8 carriers, Jermaine Gresham got his first NFL touchdown, and both T.O. and Chad got some big catches, with Chad getting a 6 yard scoring toss.
The defense, depleted due to injuries, had difficulty containing rookie C.J. Spiller, who gashed them 52 yards and 2 scores. This kid looks like he may very well be a superstar in the making for Buffalo, particularly in the way new coach Chan Gailey is using him.
12 penalties were committed by the men in stripes, a continuation of an extremely disturbing trend. The 122 yards surrended in penalties included drive-killing holding penalties on offense, and drive extending mistakes on defense. This area, above all others, must be corrected before the bullets start flying for real.
Quan Cosby continues to make big plays. His 44-yard catch from Jordan Palmer proved that despite his short stature, he can stretch the field and contribute on offense. He ended up leading all receivers with 82 yards on 4 catches. His fumble certainly didn’t help his chances, but at this point he looks like a far better option than Jerome Simpson, who continues to look out of control and confused.
Jordan Palmer’s interception, returned for a touchdown by Buffalo’s aptly-named Reggie Corner, looked like a clear case of miscommunication when Simpson ran an ‘in route’ with Palmer expected a dig. Not sure who read the play wrong since I’m not a coach, but my money’s on Simpson.
JT O’Sullivan continues to look timid out there, but was better statistically than Palmer. Neither one looks like a good option to me. Of course, the back-up offensive line was atrocious, particularly the 3rd teamers.
Adam Jones had some outstanding kick returns, (averaging 38 yards per return) and an 11-yard punt return.
Speaking of Jones, he suffered a neck injury in the game along with fellow DB Brandon Ghee, who was taken off the field on a cart after a scary collision left him motionless for several minutes. Early indications are both should be okay.
On the bright side defensively, the Michael Johnson experiment got another lift with Johnson sacking Buffalo starter Trent Edwards in the first half. Our favorite rookie, Geno “Taz” Atkins also got a sack, giving him 4.5 in 4 games.
Kicker Mike Nugent finally staked his claim to a roster spot with a 54 yard field goal in the first half. He definitely seems to have a strong leg. Dave Rayner also connected on his only FG attempt, from 34 yards out.
Overall, coach Marvin Lewis will have a lot of corrections to make, and the team absolutely must reduce the penalties in a hurry. However, the starters looked good in limited snaps and the back-ups remained competitive against Buffalo’s starters.
As the final preseason game approaches Thursday against Indy, the team must focus on getting healthy and sorting out who will get the last few spots on the roster.
We’ll provide more information and coverage on this game and the roster scrum in the coming days…
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