About last night... Bengals lose.

So what did you get from the Bengals second game last night against the Saints? The Bengals offense is still struggling to finish drives in the endzone. Carson Palmer's timing seems off. There's still no front runner for that #3 WR spot. Quincy Wilson had flashes and Kenny Watson had one good run. Ahmad Brooks is still struggling to "get it" (as some have put it) as an NFL linebacker. The Bengals secondary isn't as promising as I've made it. Other than Shayne Graham and Kyle Larson -- and fairly, Brad St. Louis -- special teams has gaps. Jeff Rowe should be given the opportunity to play with the second team offense. Daniel Coats could be this offense's most effective offseason pickup.

But this is preseason. They've only played two games whereas the Saints were sharp playing in their third. And, it's foolish to take preseason trends -- well, other than injuries -- and project them towards regular season predictions. Some teams have losing records and some teams have winning records.

The 2006 Super Bowl Champions, Indianapolis Colts, went 1-3 during that season's preseason.
The 2005 Super Bowl Champions, Pittsburgh Steelers, went 3-1.
The 2004 Super Bowl Champions, New England Patriots, went 1-3.
The 2003 Super Bowl Champions, New England Patriots, went 4-0.
The 2002 Super Bowl Champions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, went 3-1.
The 2001 Super Bowl Champions, New England Patriots, went 3-1.
The 2000 Super Bowl Champions, Baltimore Ravens, went 3-0.
The 1999 Super Bowl Champions, St. Louis Rams, went 2-2.

About Last Night

The Bengals leader in rushing was Jeff Rowe -- two scrambles picked up 20 yards. Quincy Wilson finished with four rushes for 19 yards. Kenny Watson's 18 yards rushing came on eight carries. Take away the nine-yard rush late in the first quarter, Watson has seven rushes for nine yards -- 1.28 yards per carry. Rudi Johnson played tough breaking tackles and looking as light footed as ever. However, usually running backs get the bulk of their carries and yards later in the second half -- that also applies to Watson. However, I didn't see anyone take the ball and run with it as the #2 running back.

Tab Perry had 10 passes thrown his way. He hauled in only two for 19 yards receiving. In fairness, some throws to Perry were a result of overthrows and bad communication -- he runs a streak but the quarterback anticipates a hook route. So there's a chance that some passes were not the result of Perry's play -- rather a wrong route anticipated by the QB.

Between Drew Brees (104.9 passer rating) and Jamie Martin (94.0 passer rating), the Bengals secondary really struggled. Combined, both quarterbacks completed 20 passes on 25 attempts for 194 yards passing.

Herana Jones was the most visible defender last night. While recording eight total tackles (team lead), Jones also had two passes defensed and a quarterback sack.

Domata Peko, Justin Smith, Eric Henderson and Bryan Robinson recorded forced fumbles -- of which two (Caleb Miller and Peko) were recovered by the defense.

Madieu Williams, Bryan Robinson, Herana Jones, Eric Henderson and Ahmad Brooks scored quarterback sacks. Take note: All but Robinson came from either linebackers or the secondary.

Not including sacks, Bengals defenders hit the quarterback eight times -- Frostee Rucker, Xzavie Jackson, Michael Myers, Andre Frazier, Johnathan Fanene, Madieu Williams, Ahmad Brooks and Herana Jones.

The Bengals offense recorded four three-and-out drives. Six drives with five plays or less that ended in punts.

Season-wise

The Bengals Red Zone offense has scored touchdowns in two of six drives in the past two games.

Jeff Rowe in the past two games is 11-16 for 103 yards with one touchdown (107.0 passer rating).

Rudi Johnson is rushing at a 4.3 yards per carry clip (11 carries, 47 yards rushing).

Of the players competing for the #3 WR gig:

Player Rec. Yards TD
Skyler Green 6 58 1
Bennie Brazell 5 43 0
Jesse Holley 3 25 0
Tab Perry (1 game) 2 19 0
Nate Lawrie 2 10 0
Tony Kays 1 22 0
Reggie McNeal 1 19 0

Skyler Green is likely to make the team based on punt returns alone. On seven punt returns, Green is averaging 11.1 yards per punt return -- including a 37-yard return. However, the indicator is that he's the only player that's returned a punt this preseason. For comparisons sakes, Keiwan Ratliff averaged 6.5 yards per return in 2006, 5.6 yards per return in 2005 and 12.2 yards per return in 2004.

Ahmad Brooks recorded his first tackle of the preseason at the 12-minute mark in the first quarter against the Saints.

The Bengals have converted only 11 of their 30 total third down chances for the season.

Time Situation Result
1Q, 12:19 3-6-DET9 Palmer completes 4-yard pass to T.J., 23-yard Field Goal (0-1)
1Q, 6:55 3-3-CIN27 Rudi Johnson, 3-yard run, wide right. First Down (1-2)
1Q, 3:19 3-14-DET30 Palmer, incomplete pass to Watson. 48-yard Field Goal (1-3)
2Q, 13:41 3-10-CIN34 Johnson, incomplete pass to Brazell. Punt. (1-4)
2Q, 10:38 3-2-CIN47 Johnson, incomplete pass to Coats (1-5)
2Q, 7:26 3-11-DET22 Johnson, sacked and fumbles. Fumble recovered. 47-yard Field Goal (1-6)
2Q, 1:16 3-1-DET11 Johnson, 2-yard sneak. First Down (2-7)
3Q, 7:41 3-7-CIN23 Johnson, incomplete pass to Skyler. Punt (2-8)
3Q, 2:09 3-4-DET10 Johnson completes 6-yard pass to Henry. First Down (3-9)
3Q, 0:36 3-18-DET18 Johnson, sacked, 3-yard loss. 39-yard Field Goal (3-10)
4Q, 5:21 3-2-CIN32 Curtis Brown, 3-yard loss rush attempt. Punt, blocked (3-11)
4Q, 0:46 3-7-CIN43 Rowe, incomplete pass to Tony Kays (3-12)
    AGAINST SAINTS
1Q, 13:57 3-6-CIN24 Palmer (shotgun), incomplete pass to Tab Perry. Punt. (0-1, 3-13)
1Q, 7:43 3-1-CIN29 Rudi Johnson, 7-yard rush. Wide right. First Down (1-2, 4-14)
1Q, 6:26 3-5-CIN41 Palmer (shotgun) completes 15-yard pass to Chad. First down. (2-3, 5-15)
1Q, 4:54 3-1-NO35 Rudi Johnson, 3-yard rush. Inside, right. First Down (3-4, 6-16)
1Q, 3:47 3-11-NO33 Palmer, incomplete pass to Tab Perry. 51-yard Field Goal (3-5, 6-17)
2Q, 15:00 3-3-CIN38 Palmer sacked and fumbles. Recovered by NO. Led to Touchdown. (3-6, 6-18)
2Q, 11:35 3-1-CIN35 Palmer, incomplete pass to Chad. Punt (3-7, 6-19)
2Q, 8:18 3-1-NO15 Kenny Watson runs for no-gain. Wide Right. 33-yard Field Goal. (3-8, 6-20)
2Q, 5:10 3-7-NO7 Johnson, incomplete pass to Tab Perry. 25-yard Field Goal. (3-9, 6-21)
2Q, 1:43 3-1-CIN44 Johnson, 2-yard sneak. First Down. (4-10, 7-22)
3Q, 10:55 3-1-CIN36 Johnson completes 5-yard pass to Manderino (5-11, 8-23)
3Q, 9:30 3-10-CIN41 Johnson fumbles and recovers, 10-yardloss. Punt (5-12, 8-24)
3Q, 5:57 3-10-CIN18 Johnson completes 6-yard pass to Brazell. Punt. (5-13, 8-25)
4Q, 12:32 3-9-CIN42 Johnson, incomplete pass to Brazell. Punt. (5-14, 8-26)
4Q, 9:19 3-5-NO46 Johnson, incomplete pass to Brazell (tipped). Punt (5-15, 8-27)
4Q, 1:26 3-1-CIN30 Curtis Brown, 3-yard rush. First Down (6-16, 9-28)
4Q, 0:31 3-4-NO47 Rowe completes 22-yard pass to Kays. First Down (7-17, 10-29)
4Q, 0:07 3-10-NO14 Rowe completes 14-yard TOUCHDOWN pass to Skyler (8-18, 11-30)

What others are saying...

Bengals Still Struggle To End Drives; Lose to Saints 27-19 [FanHouse]
Bengals Struggle With Pass and Lose 27-19 [The Bengal Blitz]
Red Zone Boos [Bengals.com]
Notes: Same paging Palmer-Perry [Bengals.com]
Saints make it look easy [Dayton Daily News]
Bengals sloppy in loss to Saints [Dayton Daily News]
TD chances frittered away [Enquirer]
Muncy happy to play at PBS [Dayton Daily News]
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