MIAMI GARDENS, FL - AUGUST 19: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers looks on during a Preseason NFL game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on August 19, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
After losing to the New York Jets Sunday night, the Cincinnati Bengals took Monday off and returned to practice on Tuesday at Paul Brown Stadium. The team will have two days to practice for their upcoming Thursday night meeting against the Carolina Panthers in Cincinnati, which will feature Cam Newton as the Panthers starting quarterback.
Newton and the Panthers first team offense is expected to play into the third quarter, where as the first team Bengals offense isn't expected to play as long, wanting to see the backup players get reps against the first team.
Are you serious? The first-team offense is the unit that needs work. Though one could argue that the 51-point differential that the Bengals have lost by in two preseason games is largely the result of the team's scrub players late in the game, the Bengals are also facing a 41-10 deficit in the first halves of both games. Marvin is tricking us. He has to be.
Thursday's game is largely defined as the "dress rehearsal"; the preseason game in which teams implement much of what they're going to use during the regular season. Starters regularly come out of half time and play well into the third quarter, applying half time adjustments, getting the general feel of a second half routine.