Improvement On The First-Team Rushing Offense
BenJarvus Green-Ellis has missed one game, not expected to play this Thursday. Bernard Scott could miss the entire preseason without taking a snap. As a result the Bengals rushing offense in the first-half has left a ton to be desired. In the first half against the Jets and Falcons, Cincinnati running backs have combined for 44 yards rushing on 22 carries and two fumbles, one of which was lost.
Brian Leonard alone rushed 12 times for 25 yards rushing and lost a fumble.
Despite the offensive struggles, one can (and perhaps should) point out that it's not so much the production of the running backs, rather the lanes (not) being developed by the offensive line.
The Secondary Against Improved Passing Offense
Cincinnati's secondary didn't get a chance to be tested against the New York Jets during the first preseason game of the season. They did, however, struggle against Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons, also featuring the difficult-to-cover Roddy White and Julio Jones. Ryan completed 18 of 21 passes for 174 yards passing and a touchdown. All four Falcons quarterbacks combined for 41 completions on 57 attempts for 406 yards passing, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 96.1.
The Bengals won't have Jason Allen, Adam Jones, Dre Kirkpatrick, Brandon Ghee or Shaun Prater, leaving Leon Hall, Nate Clements, Terence Newman, T.J. Heath, Chris Lewis-Clark and Taveon Rogers against one of the league's best passing offenses (at least the first-team).
Cedric Benson's Return To Cincinnati
The Cincinnati Bengals rushing defense has shown their strength, especially between the tackles. However there is a slight Hollywood curiosity here with Cedric Benson's return to Cincinnati. After complaining for so long during the last two seasons, Cincinnati decided to ditch his under-productivity, attitude and off-the-field for something perceivably better. In fact no team signed him for five months until there were stability issues in Green Bay's backfield.
This is a battle I want the Bengals to win.
Bengals No. 2 Wide Receiver
Can someone please put a merciful end to this ridiculous debate? Armon Binns and Brandon Tate remain as the team's most likely No. 2 wide receivers, with Binns generating two catches for 24 yards and Brandon Tate with three receptions for 30 yards receiving during the preseason. Neither have a touchdown. If the team decides to rotate both in a committee approach, fine. It's a debate without an expiration date and it's starting to spoil our good mood (or maybe I'm just more irritated by it than others).
Will Taylor Mays Not Seriously Injury Someone, Please?
Against the Jets, Taylor Mays tried tackling running back Shonn Green low. Instead he collided into Rey Maualuga's leg, causing a knee sprain. Against the Atlanta Falcons, he tried to erase Atlanta's backup tight end Michael Palmer from existence. Instead he knocked linebacker Vontaze Burfict into a (not really) concussion-based drool.
In fact it would be nice for the Bengals to complete a preseason game somewhat healthy afterwards.