While many fans wanted to see the Bengals jump up and secure a top-talent like Dwayne Haskins in the 2019 NFL Draft, they opted to wait on a quarterback they believed in. That quarterback was NC State stud Ryan Finley.
Coming into the organization, many didn’t know how Finley would perform or if he was ready to take the step to the sport’s highest level. Well, if his career is any replica of his first few drives, he’ll be just fine.
Finley came out on fire in his first few drives.
Finley's first two drives: 12/13, 92.3 %, 100 yards, 1 TD, 124.4 rating— Nick Manchester (@NickManchester9) August 11, 2019
Finley ended the game 13/18, collecting 109 yards, a touchdown and an interception. While he might’ve cooled off after his initial start, Finley certainly looked like he belonged in the game.
Currently battling for the team’s backup quarterback spot, Finley significantly outperformed Jeff Driskel, who went 1-5 as a starter last season. Driskel ended the game 8/19 with 79 yards and one interception.
Starting out 6/6, Finley had a few highly impressive throws to Josh Malone, who finished with just those two receptions. Jordan Ellis, who led the team in receiving with 44 yards, was also a beneficiary of Finley’s excellent play, securing the team’s only receiving touchdown from the rookie quarterback.
Let’s also remember that this is just round 1 in a series of games that ultimately may not have a huge impact on the Bengals season unless something tragic happens to Andy Dalton.
However, Dalton has missed at least three games in two of the last four seasons so the need for a consistent backup may certainly arise.
Needless to say, this was a terrific start to Finely’s career and hopefully he’ll continue this type of performance as the Bengals will take the field next against the Redskins on Thursday, August 15 at FedEx Field.