Tonight the Bengals will kickoff their second preseason game, hosting the Denver Broncos at Paul Brown Stadium with the kickoff slated for 7 PM. Since the game isn't sold out, the game will be blacked out locally (anyone within a 75-mile radius) and those expecting to see it on the NFL Network, won't be able to unless you're outside the local market. There's a lot work this team needs to do for improvements and based on last week, we fully expect the team to continually improve. Typically, this would the Bengals first preseason game of the year, but our biggest hope tonight is to see general improvement across the board. We're not demanding record-shattering performances. Just improvements. That said, here's things I'm looking for this weekend.
SUSTAINED SUCCESS FROM LAST WEEK. After Michael Johnson, Geno Atkins and Adam Jones had relative success last week against the Cowboys, I'm interested to see how sustained and consistent their success are. We know they can ball, but can they do it week in and week out?
LINEBACKER ROTATIONS. I'm also interested to see how the Bengals use Michael Johnson, Rey Maualuga and Dhani Jones. Will there be packages they use moving Jones out, sliding Maualuga in the middle and Johnson on the outside? How consistently will all three be on the field?
RETURNING PLAYERS. Johnathan Joseph, Rey Maualuga and Cedric Peerman make their preseason debuts. But of all the players that haven't played in the preseason yet, I'm most interested in Carlos Dunlap, who sat last week due to a concussion.
WHO REPLACES BRIAN LEONARD. With Leonard out for at least a month, perhaps more, who will rise? In Leonard, the Bengals lose a decent blocker and receiver and a great converter on third downs. Will it be Bernard Scott? Or will it be Cedric Peerman or James Johnson?
IMPROVEMENTS FROM LAST WEEK. I would be willing to say that we're all looking for improvements from last week with the team's pass protection and the backup quarterback play between J.T. O'Sullivan and Jordan Palmer.
I threw my top fives out there. What are your expectations and five things you're looking for?