The point of Thursday's game was to get a better account of individual battles that are vying for a spot on the team's roster. With that being the cause, during Cincinnati's 30-28 win over the Indianapolis Colts, it would be impossible to predict the team's full 53-man roster, with so many questions; like will the Bengals only take two quarterbacks, how many linebackers will they take?
Jerome Simpson made his best case to make the roster. On third-and-10 with 11:04 left in the second quarter, J.T. O'Sullivan, under severe pressure and hit as he released the football, completed an 18-yard pass to Simpson with an amazing vertical between two defenders. Simpson picked up the first down. After Carson Palmer played the first series, J.T. O'Sullivan came in, completing nine of 12 passes for 102 yards passing. O'Sullivan was literally under assault from the Colts with a second-team offensive line that played terribly uninspiring. Jordan Palmer outperformed him, arguably playing against lesser talent on defense, completely 10 of 14 passes for 115 yards passing and two touchdowns.
Cedric Peerman, behind a suddenly used wishbone offense, scored on a 93-yard touchdown run with 11:22 left in the third quarter. With over six minutes left in the fourth quarter, Peerman also returned a kickoff 50 yards. On the following play, with 6:18 left in the game, Jordan Palmer in shotgun heaves a pass down the right sidelines to a wide open Dezmon Briscoe, who had a quick hesitation move, beating the Colts secondary by three yards.
Peerman would go on to record 165 total yards with 15 yards receiving and 100 yards rushing.
Johnny Sears was dominated, mostly covering rookie receiver Blair White, who caught five passes for 96 yards receiving in the first half. Otis Hudson gave up a quarterback sack to Colts rookie defensive end Ricardo Mathews; the J.T. O'Sullivan led offense couldn't recover for a first down. David Jones allowed a 22-yard touchdown to Brandon James, not even turning to find the ball, with 5:07 left in the third quarter.
Based on a recent article pointing out 46 players that will likely make the team, we'd be remise not to update the list. After Thursday night, we have Daniel Coats becoming the team's fourth tight end, primarily because he played mostly fullback while Joe Tronzo never played with the first team offense. We also have Cedric Peerman becoming the team's fourth running back, bringing our locks total up to 48. Peerman also made a huge argument that he could help with the team's kickoff return game. Simpson had his best game of the preseason, recording six receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown. Briscoe recorded a 50-yard reception. Alternatively, Cosby had arguably a down game, averaging nine yards on three punt returns with no receptions on offense.
The battle between Mike Nugent and Dave Rayner has been a close competition since July. Having converted two 50-yard field goals this preseason, Nugent seems to have the advantage.
Cincinnati finishes with 3-2 record this preseason. Next up, final cuts.