Saturday, August 21, 2010
Recap of Bengals' preseason victory
By James Walker
The Cincinnati Bengals had a solid showing Friday with a 22-9 preseason victory against the Philadelphia Eagles. It was the third exhibition for Cincinnati.
Here are some observations:
- New Bengals receiver Terrell Owens is fitting in well with the offense. Every exhibition game "T.O." shows you a little more of why the Bengals signed him to a one-year deal right before training camp. On Friday, Owens proved he can still go deep with a 43-yard reception down the sideline from quarterback Carson Palmer. Owens leads Cincinnati with nine preseason receptions for 108 yards.
- After a series of miscues and poor execution on third down last week against the Denver Broncos, the Bengals made a dramatic improvement in that area against Philadelphia. Cincinnati held the Eagles to 1 of 7 (14 percent) on third-down conversions in the first half, which is when starters and contributors for both teams were still in the game. This was something Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis was very complimentary of Friday night.
- Cincinnati backup cornerback Morgan Trent made a strong case for playing time with three interceptions in the second half.Trent played decent in stretches as the team's nickel cornerback last season, but the Bengals are looking for more consistency from the position. Cincinnati signed Adam Jones and drafted Brandon Ghee this offseason, but Trent's production puts him right in the mix.
- Despite Cincinnati playing its third preseason game, the starters continue to play sloppy at times. The Bengals had six first-half penalties, which needs to be improved before the start of the regular season. Palmer also threw two first-half interceptions against the Eagles.
- The Bengals' first-team defense didn't get to the quarterback.Despite pressures, Cincinnati didn't get any sacks on Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb, and had just one quarterback hit the entire first half. Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer has made improving the pass rush a big emphasis this offseason. Cincinnati did record three sacks overall against Philadelphia, but they came from backups in the second half.
- Cincinnati safety Gibril Wilson suffered a major knee injury and is likely out for the 2010 season. But fortunately for the Bengals, safety is a position where they have a lot of depth, which includes veterans Roy Williams, Chris Crocker and Chinedum Ndukwe.