Playing against the 15th overall pick Dwayne Haskins, it was Bengals’ fourth-round pick Ryan Finley who won the battle of the rookie quarterbacks, as Cincinnati took down Washington to claim their first win of the preseason.
Completing his first eight passes, Finley ended his second preseason appearance with 20 completions on 26 attempts, totaling 150 yards and two touchdowns. Responsible for the majority of the team’s 23 points, Finley showed poise that’s uncharacteristic of a rookie.
Both against the Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Redskins, Finley started out the game hot. While he eventually cooled off and shared time with Jeff Driskel last Saturday, head coach Zac Taylor opted to run with Finley for the bulk of the drives against Washington.
Finley ended with a QB rating of 115.9.
While Finley didn’t complete the pass, to end the first half, Finley scrambled around the field, evading many oncoming Redskins to hoist a well-thrown ball that was eventually batted down.
Nonetheless, Finely navigated the pocket enough to get a catchable ball in the air, one of many notable highlights from the rookie.
In that eight-pass opening drive, Finley marched down the field for 79 yards and a touchdown to fellow rookie Drew Sample. Finley passes have been nothing less than perfect to start his NFL career.
Here’s the rookie connection that put Cincinnati on the board.
It’s also important to note that Dalton did get the first drive and Finley hasn’t quite played against a fully stacked defense. However, don’t let that take away from the dominance that we’ve seen from the former NC State quarterback.
Finley is now 33-for-44 with 259 yards, three touchdowns and one interceptions through his first two games. He’s been far more impressive to start this preseason than either Jeff Driskel or long-time starter Andy Dalton.