Night and day. That's Cincinnati's past week. Night, in that the team played with no lights existing in the world, running around as if lost in darkness. Day, in that everything was much clearer and focused against the Denver Broncos. The passing game much improved, thanks to solid offensive line play. Jermaine Gresham and Jordan Shipley, two rookies worthy of being this week's spotlight players, were much more involved. Gresham recorded three receptions and made a key block on Cedric Benson's 21-yard explosion early in the first quarter. Jordan Shipley recorded a team high five receptions for 50 yards receiving. Including his kickoff returns and punt returns, Shipley recorded 89 yards total.
As a team, the Bengals outpaced the Broncos, recording 409 yards total to the Broncos 287 yards total. Cincinnati put the game away after a 12-play touchdown drive that went 92 yards ended with a one-yard touchdown run by James Johnson, giving the Bengals a 30-17 lead with 12:47 left in the fourth quarter.
The backups struggled at times, but also there were positives. Jerome Simpson caught a nice 21-yard reception from a well placed pass by J.T. O'Sullivan in stride. Matt Jones, on the other hand, didn't record a reception. After missing his first four passes, O'Sullivan completed five of his next six passes for 84 yards passing, generating two field goal drives. Backup cornerback David Jones picked off a Brady Quinn pass, returning it 24 yards for a touchdown, giving the Bengals a 17-14 lead in the second.
With two preseason games in the books, the Bengals appeared much improved as a team. The team will get four days to prepare for Friday Night's game against the Philadelphia Eagles. This will be the Bengals third preseason game of the year, often called the dress rehearsal. However, expect the team to play their starters similar as they did Sunday night due to their five-game preseason schedule.
What were your impressions?