Bengals Press Release (below)
Saints Press Release (Bengals.com)
Game: Bengals vs. Saints, Friday, 7:30pm.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. EDT.
Television: Live coverage on the Bengals Preseason Network with Paul Keels (play-by-play), Anthony Munoz (analyst) and Mike Valpredo (sideline reporter). The network is led by flagship WKRC-TV (Channel 12) in Cincinnati. Also on the network are WKEF-TV (Channel 22) and WRGT-TV (Channel 45) in Dayton, Ohio; WCMH-TV (Channel 4) in Columbus, Ohio; WTVQ-TV (Channel 36) in Lexington, Ky.; and WDRB-TV (Channel 41) in Louisville, Ky.
The Bengals Network broadcast will re-air on FSN Ohio at midnight, and also at 5 p.m. on Sun., Aug. 19 (following that day’s
Radio: Live on the 26-station Bengals Radio network, which is led by flagships WCKY-AM (1530) "Homer" (all sports) and WOFX-FM (92.5) "The Fox." Broadcasters are Brad Johansen (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst).
Setting the scene: The Bengals break training camp this week, and on Saturday, they open their eighth season in Paul Brown Stadium. The opponent — New Orleans — is a resurgent team looking to improve on last season’s 10-6 record and NFC Championship Game appearance. The Saints’ newfound stature will be part of an atmosphere sure to be intense by NFL preseason standards. The Bengals’ loyal fan base has sold out Paul Brown Stadium in advance for the second straight season, and the empty seats of summertime no-shows may be harder to find than a breeze during this month’s Cincinnati’s heat wave. Last season, the two sold-out home preseason games each produced turnstile counts of more than 60,000.
"We are excited to be back in front of our great fans in The Jungle," said head coach Marvin Lewis. "We believe we can be a championship team, and our home field advantage is a big part of that." The Bengals opened preseason at Detroit last week, and though they lost, 27-26, they had the better of things for the portion of the game most likely to resemble regular-season action. Cincinnati’s starters left the game with a 6-0 lead on the scoreboard and 121-52 lead in net yards. Both teams used their No. 1 units for roughly a quarter. As substitutes began marching in during the middle portion of the game, the Bengals extended their lead to 26-10. But buoyed by an onside kick recovery, Lions reserves stunned Bengals backups with 17 unanswered points to take a 27-26 lead. The Bengals marched to an opportunity for a game-recovering field goal at the final gun, but Shayne Graham, bidding for his fifth three-pointer of the game, kicked wide left on a 48-yard attempt. "We got in a lot of good work, a lot of things happened in the game, and there were lot of positives." said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. "The new guys found out what it’s like to play in the NFL. As for the guys who are going to play a lot, they weren’t the ones giving up the big plays. But we are a team, and no matter who’s on the field, we have to finish. We can’t let a team get up after we have them down. We learn from this and move on." Cincinnati’s highly regarded offense got a passing preseason grade against the Lions, but not an A-plus. Rudi Johnson had a 20-yard rush, Carson Palmer averaged 18.5 yards on four completions (two each) to Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. But both Palmer drives ended with field goals. The first defensive unit, looking to be much-improved in 2007, got off to perhaps a more notable start with its no-points, 52-yard quarter of action. Top veterans showing up noticeably well included FS Madieu Williams and DE Justin Smith. New defensive line starter Domata Peko appeared to be more than up to the job. And a pair of rookie safeties – Marvin White of Texas Christian and Chinedum Ndukwe of Notre Dame – built on strong practice performances to serve notice that they can provide immediate help.
Also, third-year linebacker Andre Frazier had two big plays, with a forced fumble just before a Lions runner crossed the goal line (Bengals recovered), and with a pass deflection that keyed rookie DE Matt Toeaina’s 81-yard INT for a TD. The Saints, like the Bengals, will be out to notch their first preseason win. New Orleans lost 13-10 at home to Buffalo last week, and fell 20-7 to Pittsburgh on Aug. 5 in the Hall of Fame Game at Canton, Ohio.
The series: The Saints lead the Bengals 4-1 in preseason play, including 2-1 in games at Cincinnati. The Bengals lead the regular-season series by a 6-5 margin. New Orleans has won the last four preseason meetings, the most recent a 31-23 decision at Cincinnati in 2002. The Bengals’ only preseason win over New Orleans was in the first game of the preseason series, 20-0 at Cincinnati in 1975. The Bengals have won the last three regular-season meetings, most recently a 31-16 decision last year at the Superdome. A complete listing of past Bengals-Saints preseason results can be found on page 166 of the Bengals 2007 Media Guide, and a listing of past regular-season games is on page 164.