The Cincinnati Bengals managed to finish the preseason under .500 after losing 29-26 to the Miami Dolphins. That isn’t what most fans care about, as this marked the first time we saw Joe Burrow on the field again.
We didn’t get to see the starting defense after they earned their game off. However, there was still plenty to watch in this game.
Burrow is back
The moment many Bengals were highly anticipating finally happened. Joe Burrow suited up for the Bengals and took the field. Sure, it was only for three snaps, but Week 1 was never a sure thing when he went down in November of 2020 with an ACL injury.
Now the focus can shift to how this team will play in 2021 with Burrow at the wheel.
Really cool moment as game captains Joe Burrow, Trey Hopkins & Director of Rehabilitation Nick Cosgray take the field for the coin toss. The work they all have put in to get to this point is amazing.— Emily Parker (@Emily_Parker) August 29, 2021
Ja’Marr Chase still finding his hands
Chase hasn’t had the most ideal preseason. He dropped three passes in Week 2 and dropped his only target on a screen with Burrow’s only pass of the game.
No one should be hitting the panic button on Chase who is still getting back up to speed on live reps in games after the last time he took the field was when he and Burrow won the National Championship at LSU.
One question is whether it was worth possibly risking it by leaving the rookie in the game longer than a series to get those reps.
Chase just needs more live reps. He needs to be in the game still.— Andrew Russell (@PFF_AndrewR) August 29, 2021
To continue the earlier discourse: Chase will probably be fine! Not freaking out. I'm just disappointed with how he's done in the preseason. Don't take that as I think he's a bust. I'll panic on that front if he looks the same week 10.— Mike (Sans) (@bengals_sans) August 29, 2021
Burrow’s plays were planned through the week. Still no concern with Ja’Marr Chase, Taylor said, as he’s shown some good things this past week. #bengals— Laurel Pfahler (@LaurelPfahler) August 29, 2021
Remember, Ja’Marr Chase hasn’t played football since 2019. He’ll be fine.— Fantasy Shakes (@FantasyShakes) August 29, 2021
Why is everyone talking about Ja'Marr Chase like he's approaching retirement? He's a 21 year rookie and seems like a lot of people is rooting against him just to say "I told you so" in two years. Let's do better than this and give him time.— Luca Sartirana (@SartiranaLuca) August 29, 2021
Younger guys making most of last preseason game
There were a couple of young backups who weren’t content to go out of the preseason without making some big plays.
The first was Khalid Kareem in his second year as an edge player. He started off the final preseason game by batting the ball of out the quarterbacks hand and then finishing the three-and-out by getting the sack. Cincinnati will need plenty of that with Joseph Ossai set to miss the season.
Khalid Kareem. Hello.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) August 29, 2021
Breaks through for a deflection on first down and a sack on third and long.
Big game for him and huge start.
Khalid Kareem again! From a wide 9 he grabbed the RTs wrist and lifted it to give himself the outside.— Mike (Sans) (@bengals_sans) August 29, 2021
The other young guy was running back Chris Evans. The Michigan running back was a sixth round selection and was viewed as a risky selection after not really playing much the past couple of seasons after academic issues.
It is now safe to say he will find a role in this offense as a pass catching back.
Chris Evans is a weapon. Running, receiving, everything. What a 6th round find!— Andre Perrotta (@andreperrotta13) August 29, 2021
Ball dropped in a bucket by Allen, but that would be a great catch for a WR. Evans is a RB. He's a weapon.
What a catch from Evans. Former slot receiver showing off his ball tracking skills— Nick Manchester (@NickManchester9) August 29, 2021
Evan McPherson kicks all doubt out of the stadium
When the Bengals’ spent their fifth round selection on McPherson it was pretty clear that he was going to be given every opportunity to become the starter.
McPherson took that opportunity and nailed it. He did so well that Taylor gave him a chance at a 57-yard field goal before the half and the rookie turned it into a moment that broke Bengals’ twitter.
give him a 65-yarder sometime— John Sheeran (@John__Sheeran) August 29, 2021
McPherson so damn good! Dare I say, Justin Tucker-esque?— Andre Perrotta (@andreperrotta13) August 29, 2021
Kid has legit All-Pro potential!
That was good from 70.— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) August 29, 2021
Play of the game
Trent Taylor was Johnny on the spot on this fourth-down play that set up a touchdown. The veteran clearly left it all off the field trying to turn this lucky play into points.
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