Sunday, August 21, 2011
Bengals Week 2 preseason recap
By James Walker
The Cincinnati Bengals completed their second preseason game on Sunday. Cincinnati lost to the New York Jets, 27-7. Here are some observations:
- Punter Kevin Huber may be an early candidate for Bengals MVP. He is having a great preseason and booted several more impressive punts Sunday against the Jets. Huber had nine punts for 424 yards, which is a stellar 47.1 average.
- Cincinnati's first-team defense made some strides this week. The offense struggled early (we will get to that later). But the defense did a decent job of keeping the game close in the first half. Cincinnati's first-team defense gave up 10 points before most of the starters were pulled. The Jets had a lengthy touchdown drive before halftime against a mix of Bengals starters and backups.
- Cincinnati's offense does not look ready for Week 1. This unit is just too sloppy. Cincinnati's first three possessions ended like this: an Andy Dalton interception, a 17-yard loss on a fumble that forced a punt and another interception. The timing just looks off, although Cincinnati's starting offense eventually warmed up at the end and scored its first touchdown of the preseason.
- Overall, the Bengals need to start better. They have been outscored 41-10 in the first half when starters get a majority of the playing time. Yes, it's only the preseason. But it doesn't look good when Cincinnati's first team routinely fails to set the tone. The Bengals aren't the Pittsburgh Steelers or Green Bay Packers. Cincinnati is a young team that needs to show something in the preseason to gain momentum and confidence for the regular season.