Friday, August 12, 2011
Bengals, Steelers Week 1 preseason recap
By James Walker
The Cincinnati Bengals and reigning AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers made their 2011 preseason debuts Friday.
Here are some observations:
Lions 34, Bengals 3
- Bengals running back Cedric Benson looked sharp. Benson rushed for 37 yards on six carries. The Bengals' offense will be leaning on Benson a lot this season, and he looks ready.
- Middle linebacker Rey Maualuga was active. He recorded five tackles and two tackles for a loss in limited action. Maualuga looks more comfortable moving inside. He played outside linebacker the past two seasons.
Redskins 16, Steelers 7
- It was a rough debut for rookie quarterback Andy Dalton. His first throw against Detroit was intercepted. His second throw sailed wide on third down. Dalton's third pass attempt resulted in a sack. He didn't do much against Detroit's first team but moved the ball some against Lions' backups. Dalton showed decent accuracy. He finished 11-of-15 for 69 yards and an interception. But the rookie still has a lot of work ahead.
- The Bengals didn't look ready to play. That was the most concerning thing. Detroit came out with a lot of energy and pounded Cincinnati on offense, defense and special teams. The Bengals' offense struggled to move the football. Their special teams fumbled the first kickoff and missed a field goal. The defense didn't stop the bleeding by allowing two early touchdowns. Detroit led 24-3 at halftime.
- Pittsburgh backup running back Isaac Redman continued his good summer. Redman led the Steelers with 42 rushing yards on five carries. He had a nice 22-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Redman is having a great training camp and he is firmly entrenched as Pittsburgh's No. 2 running back behind starter Rashard Mendenhall.
- Backup receiver Antonio Brown led the Steelers with four receptions for 64 yards. Brown came on strong late last season. He continued that momentum Friday. His longest catch was for 29 yards. Brown is competing for the No. 3 receiver job with veteran free-agent signing Jerricho Cotchery.
- The Steelers failed to avoid injuries. No. 1 cornerback Ike Taylor hurt his thumb against Washington. Steelers president Art Rooney II told Pittsburgh station KDKA that Taylor's thumb is broken. Teammate and safety Ryan Clark also suffered a stinger and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger appeared to have a minor hand injury.
- The Steelers didn't do anything to calm concerns about their pass defense. Starting corner Bryant McFadden didn't play and Taylor was injured in the game. But Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman had a lot of success through the air against Pittsburgh. He was 19-of-26 for 207 yards and a touchdown. Grossman had a 109 passer rating.