The Bengals rallied to defeat the Bears, 30-27, in front of a great Paul Brown Stadium crowd to kick off the preseason.
The Bengals found themselves trailing late and in danger of blowing an early lead the starting offense helped build, but a late touchdown pass from Jeff Driskel to Auden Tate proved to be the difference in a 30-27 win.
Celebrate Bengals fans!
The Bengals 2018 campaign doesn’t officially start for a few more weeks, but this is the first chance we actually get to see the Bengals play against another team. It just so happens they are playing against a team that helped end their season.
The Bengals last meeting against the Chicago Bears was during Week 14 of last season. Some of you may have been able to repress the memory of the 33-7 loss at the hands of Bears, but it was a pretty defining game for the Bengals 2017 season, as it dropped the them to a 5-8 record and all but eliminated their chance to make the playoffs.
This game also immediately followed their second-half collapse against the Steelers, so clearly the Bengals weren’t quite over that yet.
Still, this is a new season with plenty to be hopeful for. We get to see what will likely be a vanilla version of Bill Lazor’s new offense, along with how well wide receivers John Ross and Tyler Boyd can compliment A.J. Green in Lazor’s fresh redux scheme as the team just cut Brandon LaFell.
This will also be our first look at the Bengals’ offensive line, and we can see how much progress they have made following a disastrous 2017. It will be our first chance to observe Cordy Glenn, Billy Price and now Bobby Hart as Bengals with the first-team. Hart is listed as the Bengals starting right tackle (for now), but we should expect that to be a very fluid situation depending on how well Hart plays.
On defense, there isn’t as much intrigue, mainly because the unit retained most of their talent from last season. Teryl Austin likely won’t get too creative with his squad for the preseason, but it will be interesting to see how he divvy’s playing time with the linebackers. The position group was riddled with injuries last season, and Vontaze Burfict will not play Thursday, giving more reps for younger linebackers.
The most interesting thing to watch for on defense is how the new rules on how players can use their helmets impacts the Bengals defense. Will we see a ton of flags? or will this be the first step in a long learning process?
Of course, beyond the first string, there are plenty of storylines. Rookies will get their first taste of NFL action, and the battles for reserve roles are on the line, specifically at quarterback, defensive tackle and pretty much the entire offensive line.
Here is how to watch the Bengals take on the Bears:
Game: Chicago Bears (0-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (0-0)
Date/Time: Aug. 9, 2018 at 7 p.m. EST
Location: Paul Brown Stadium
Series Leader: Cincinnati, 6-5 (regular season)
Streak: Bears have won the past two meetings and three of the last five
Coaches vs. Opponent: Marvin Lewis: 2-2. Matt Nagy: 0-0
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on the Bengals Preseason Network with Mike Watts (play-by-play), Anthony Munoz (analyst) and Mike Valpredo (sideline reporter). The network is led by flagship WKRC-TV (CBS Channel 12) in Cincinnati. Also on the network are WKEF-TV (ABC Ch. 22) in Dayton, WSYX-TV (ABC Ch. 6) in Columbus, WLIO-TV (FOX Ch. 8.2) in Lima, WDKY-TV FOX Ch. 56) in Lexington, Ky. and WDRB-TV (FOX Ch. 41) in Louisville, Ky.
Radio Broadcast: Coverage on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati flagship stations WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530; all sports), WLW-AM (700) and WEBN-FM (102.7). Broadcasters are Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst). Wayne Box Miller hosts the pregame and postgame shows.
Online Stream: NFL Gamepass
SB Nation Bears site: Windy City Gridiron
Weather: Mid 80’s, partly cloudy [NFL weather]
TV coverage map (via 506sports.com)
Replay: NFL Network and NFL Gamepass
Prediction: OddsShark projects a 20-18 Bengals win.