Greetings everyone! I’ve recently agreed to start writing and covering the great Cincinnati Bengals for TheWinningTake. Today I’ll be writing about what to expect ahead of the Bengals first pre-season game on the 11th against the Buccaneers at 7:30pm.
FOOTBALL. IS. BACK. As fall approaches, the Cincinnati Bengals are closing in on their first pre-season game. Many people think that pre-season is boring, but football is football. And, it’s fun to watch young players and rookies play hard to earn positions on the roster. The Bengals provide nothing short of that. All of the 2017, and some of the 2016, rookies will be working hard to earn either a starting spot or to make the 53 man roster. Among those fighting for a starting spot would include, Joe Mixon, John Ross, and Andrew Billings.“Boom” Williams and Demetrius Cox are atop the list of those working for a roster spot of any sort. But before we look to Friday’s game, let’s look back at last years pre-season.
Last year the Bengals went 1-3, losing to the Vikings, Jaguars, and the Colts. Their only win came against the Lions during the 2nd week. While a pre-season record doesn’t really mean anything, their 1-3 record certainly reflected their 6-9-1 record during the regular season. Their first game, against the Vikings, Dalton and Green only went one drive missing out on a field goal, courtesy of Michael Nugent. Hill and Bernard saw a couple extra drives, but soon after that, all of the backups and rookies started getting all of the playing time. Typical. In our second game, and our only win against the Lions, Dalton, Green and all the other starters went 3 drives with Hill scoring a touchdown on the first drive. The same held for the next game against the Jaguars. The final game against the Colts only saw backups. This, of course, was to protect our starters from injury with the season approaching. Expect the same from this pre-season. Limited starter play, and a lot of interesting games. Hopefully this year will highlight all the exciting and talented rookies. I predict our pre-season record to be 3-1, but what does it matter. Now, let’s look at the very early roster released by the Bengals…
Stanley ‘Boom’ Williams
Wide Receiver 1:
Wide Receiver 2:
Left Defensive End:
Right Defensive End:
William Jackson III
Excuse the long list, but that is the early depth chart released by the Bengals. Here are my takeaways…
- Joe Mixon sits at #4 for RB, but he’ll at LEAST be #3 when the season begins.
- John Ross is #3 for WR 2, and it’ll most likely stay that way for a little bit and he’ll see a lot of work in the slot.
- Nick Vigil is starting and it’s well deserved, but Vinny Rey won’t be far behind. Expect to see a close battle for the spot.
- Billings is #2 behind Sims, but he’ll have the #1 spot by the season opener.
- William Jackson lll is #2, which is great to see.
- Erickson is #1 for Kickoff returns with Mixon behind him. No telling how Ross will fit in.
My overall takeaway going into this pre-season consists of a couple of things. The Bengals have so many exciting rookies and young players, and there is no telling how good they’ll do. The youngings could make or break their season. A couple of spots are up for grabs, and this pre-season will decide who gets them. Also, Marvin Lewis took some time off for a “minor health issue” and there is no timetable for his return, but many believe he’ll be back within the week. My prayers go out to him and his family. All and all this pre-season should be very productive and interesting. If the Bengals can stay healthy, they’ll be a real threat, especially with their strength of schedule, the 4th easiest in the NFL. Stay tuned for my after-thoughts on the game this Friday. Who Dey!!!
– Jackson Sizemore