Jason Campbell is not a guaranteed lock, but he is comfortably above the bubble. He's been known around the league as a solid, unspectacular journeyman for a while. He has experience over eight previous seasons, and has a decent (for a backup) career passer rating of 81.8 and a 60.3 completion percentage, with an 87:60 TD:INT ratio and 6.68 YPA. Of course, he has prototypical size, at 6'5", 235 pounds, and supposedly a strong arm, though it doesn't always show.
Campbell has had an inconsistent training camp. One day, it'll go like this:
Jason Campbell has looked really sharp today. Last five passes (5-5) were perfect fits. Pump-fake on one deep to Eifert of double move— Coley Harvey (@ColeyHarvey) July 25, 2014
But on other days, he has played poorly, with inaccurate throws as well as fumbling at times. We have learned that he loves to target Cobi Hamilton.
Campbell had an inconsistent first preseason game as well. He was 6-15 for 72 yards. On one hand, he had two pretty nice TD passes to Brandon Tate and Dane Sanzenbacher. On the other hand:
"I've had one interception go back for a touchdown in my career, and then I have two in one preseason game." - Jason Campbell #Bengals QB— Bengals-Talk.com (@BengalsTalk) August 10, 2014
Might have to get Jason Campbell into one of those videoboard staredown games at GABP. I think he'd be unbeatable.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) August 8, 2014
Ouch, Paul. Ouch. (By the way, Chris Heisey is, in my opinion, the best player featured)
Campbell didn't always get the best of help, though. Green-Ellis was awful here (BJGE has been terrible in pass-protection for all of preseason):
Looks like BJGE at fault on this sack here, Bodine passed 1st LB off and took care of 2nd LB https://t.co/rPmuRjTWIK— Brennen Warner (@JustBeWarned) August 9, 2014
Campbell didn't play in the second preseason game due to injury.
Matt Scott hasn't been particularly outstanding in camp. But in the first preseason game, just like Jimmy Garoppolo in New England and Logan Thomas in Arizona, Scott stepped up his play.
Scott completed seven of his 11 passes for 66 yards, two touchdowns, and no turnovers. He had a handful of completions nullified by penalty, too. Furthermore, he carried the ball six times for 68 yards. Scott is well-rounded physically, standing at a solid 6'3", 212 pounds to go with a 4.63 40 time. He has upside, at just 23 years old. He was a UDFA from Arizona acquired by the Jaguars in 2013.
Of course, this:
The old puke, puke, pass TD play. Classic https://t.co/HBi0s7OfhL— Brennen Warner (@JustBeWarned) August 8, 2014
This is probably just Marvin-talk, but still:
Marvin on Matt Scott: He taught the whole football team a lesson. Showed the entire team what you have to give to make a football team.— Joe Danneman (@FOX19Joe) August 9, 2014
However, Scott's play in the first preseason game was against third- and fourth-stringers. In the second preseason game, against second-stringers, Scott struggled, completing 8 of 22 passes for just 54 yards. He also threw an interception and fumbled twice, one of which was lost.
#Bengals fans better hope Jason Campbell is healthy this year. Matt Scott hasn't looked good vs Jets' 1 & 2 defense. Standing around a lot— Coley Harvey (@ColeyHarvey) August 17, 2014
Admittedly, Scott got almost no help from his protection, getting sacked 4 times.
A.J. McCarron will most likely head to PUP or IR. He has a good chance to be the team's long-term backup QB for 2015 and beyond.
Tyler Wilson is far below the bubble and has no realistic chance at making the roster.
Obviously, the coaches will most likely go with Jason Campbell, while cutting Scott. There's a mild chance Scott would then be placed on the practice squad.
There is a small chance the coaches will keep both Campbell and Scott, while cutting either the final WR or the final OL on the team (from our previous polls, chosen to be Cobi Hamilton and Trey Hopkins). They would be willing to do that only if they think Scott is worth protecting on the roster and not being exposed to waivers.
Personally, I don't like the idea of keeping 3 QB, but keeping only 5 WR or 8 OL. Dalton is durable. I want Campbell and Scott to simply duke it out for one roster spot.
In contrast to those on the Scott bandwagon, I definitely want Campbell over Scott. Campbell knows Hue Jackson's offense well and has turned in a decent passer rating, completion percentage, and TD:INT ratio over eight real NFL seasons.
Scott had one very good game against third- and fourth-stringers, but did poorly in his second preseason game. Scott can still be placed on the PS, as it'd be unlikely anyone would claim him off waivers. For our fairly stacked team, though, space is quite limited on the PS let alone the 53-man roster, so Scott could simply be released and then brought back in 2015, without a stay on the PS. In either case, he'd have the chance to challenge McCarron to be the long-term backup for 2015 and beyond.