The Bengals' first team offense and defense both did well in their opening drives during the team's preseason opener against the Giants last night.
Following the game, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said on the defensive side of the ball, he was pleased most by the tackling.
"I was pleased with how we started the game. I thought defensively going out and getting off the field, offense going in, taking the ball down the field and scoring, was good. Some things to build upon, obviously a lot of work left to do. We came out of the game fairly healthy, which is also the key element obviously in these football games."
Rex Burkhead and Cedric Peerman were two of the three players who left the game with injuries. Both are expected to return to practice within a few days, if not by Monday. Darqueze Dennard, the other injured player had a groin strain going into the game but played through it. Eventually, he left the game in discomfort and it will be up to the coaches to determine how long he sits out.
On defense, the Bengals had 51 tackles including six tackles for a loss and 2 sacks. Regarding the team's defensive performance, Lewis remarked on the positives and the aspects of the team's play that need work.
"I thought the number one thing I was pleased with was tackling," Lewis said. "And we gotta keep working hard at that. We have to get better at turnovers, we gotta get some turnovers, create some turnover situations. The negative on defense was being offsides there with the guys early in the game. But the third down offense we have to do better. At one point that was the biggest Achilles' heel tonight. So, we moved the ball up and down the field but we just didn't get it in when we got down to the redzone."
But, that's the point of the preseason. To try things out and learn from the mistakes. The lessons learned here should be translated into the following preseason games and the regular season.