We’re not sure which was harder to come by in the Cincinnati Bengals’s final preseason game – starters or points.
But either way, Cincy’s 7-6 loss to the Indianapolis Colts was just the Bengals’ final warm-up act before the week 1 match-up with Baltimore.
The first teamers sat on both sides. Bengal backup QB AJ McCarron took the reigns and went 20/30 for 216 yards. The defense was pitching a shutout until Colts quarterback Phillip Walker lobbed a 29-yard TD pass to Justice Liggins in the fourth quarter to give the horsies the win.
It wouldn’t have been a win, though, if the Cincinnati Bengals’ kickers hadn’t done their best Mike Nugent impression. Jake Elliott and Randy Bullock each made field goals (50 and 31 yards, respectively), but combined to miss three. Any one of which would have won the game. That may get a hall pass in the preseason, but against a divisional rival with a playoff spot on the line? Mmmm, not so much.
The Cincinnati Bengals did have bright spots. Jordan Willis notched his fourth sack in four games. Jordan Evans played with a Danielle-Steel-book-collection level of passion. Rookie jet engine John Ross took a sweep 25 yards, although he left with a non-serious knee injury. Running back Jarveon Williams rushed for 117 yards and added 42 more on five receptions.
Cincinnati Bengals Player of the Game
We’ll split this one between Williams and Evans. The final preseason game is where the rookies have to make their last good impression, and both of them did. Williams can provide good depth at running back, while Evans (six total tackles, two passes defended, a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit) would be great to have while Vontaze “Category 4” Burfict is serving a three-game suspension.
What This Means Going Forward
We were having some PTSD flashbacks to last season while watching the kickers perform. They could (and most likely did) just have an off night. But Cincinnati must find a reliable kicker. Coach Marvin Lewis likely won’t keep two of them on the roster, which is about to be trimmed to 53 men. Will the person who is picked be consistent throughout the season? Time will tell.
Curtain’s about to go up on the 2017 season, ladies and germs. We’re ready. Are you?