The Bengals downed the Bolts on Sunday at home in a sound home opener. While some scattered talk during the week referenced the 2013 Wild Card game in which the Chargers bounced the Bengals from the playoffs, Week 2 is far from the playoffs. There were more flashes of greatness (welcome back Marvin Jones) and for the first time this regular season flashes of concern (looking at you Jeremy Hill). But three touchdowns from Dalton and a key interception late for Vinny Rey added up to good victory. The season is still early and depending on how you look at it, the rookie output has been minimal. This is of course due to an already deep roster and a healthy squad. The stock report below advises most to stay patient and as the season progresses we'll get better looks at the new kids.
Mario Alford, C.J. Uzomah and Marcus Hardison were stuck on the sidelines for Week 2. Hardison is nursing a knee injury and Alford and Uzomah are currently too far down on the depth chart. These same rookies were held out in last week's season opener as well. At least Alford was able to make grocery runs this week; perhaps that means kickoff returns aren't far off.
Jake Fisher - Stock Up
Let's hear it for the big man who notched his first professional catch on Sunday; it was a thing of beauty, nabbing the second longest catch of the day on the Bengals side (31 yards). The former tight-end was utilized and hauled in a wide open catch late in the third quarter where he rolled all the way to San Diego's 16-yard line. We saw flashes of how Fisher could be used in the preseason and Hue Jackson has hinted of such plays that are meant to keep defenses on their toes. Fisher was only on the field for seven offensive snaps but left his mark on the catch that set-up a Nugent field goal.
Tyler Kroft - Stock Up
Kroft spent the most time on the field for the rookies, although it's clear he was in there to spell Tyler Eifert and Ryan Hewitt. Utilized in blocking sets, Kroft continues to prove himself useful when it comes to holding back defensive pressure. While Dalton saw a lot more pressure this week than he did in Oakland, it was still considerably limited. Look for Kroft to continue to work his way into more snaps and potentially steal some away from Hewitt as he develops.
P.J. Dawson - Stock Even
While the high-ceiling for Dawson is still there, we're not seeing him make headway toward that. You have to consider that his experience is being learned off the game day field and in the locker rooms and in practice. He saw action on special teams against the Chargers and notched an assisted tackle but that's it. I have no doubt we'll see Dawson get significant time later in the season as the inevitable wear and tear occurs to the established starters, but in the meantime if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Josh Shaw - Stock Even
Josh Shaw saw his first action of the season on Sunday getting in on the special teams action and collected a partial tackle. Much like Dawson, the talented Shaw isn't going to get much action with the likes of Adam Jones, Dre Kirkpatrick, and Leon Hall continuing to match up well against opponents. Again, consider this a good sign for a deep Bengals roster and hope that progression comes in practice.
Derron Smith - Stock Even
The former Fresno State free safety also logged a team effort tackle on special teams but failed to make it into regular defensive formations. We look forward to the day when Smith can disrupt offenses in the future, but for now let us be happy he doesn't have to be thrust into the game and can develop now to be used down the line.