When everything goes right, there’s no reason to hold anything or anyone back.
The Cincinnati Bengals experienced one of their biggest wins in recent memory, with the final score being much closer than how the game played out. Star players performing like star players will always grab the headlines, but several Bengals made their season debuts after the home team quickly eliminated hope for the Carolina Panthers. Let’s see what the snaps have to say.
Had the Bengals left their starters in, the gap between the Bengals’ 74 snaps and the Panthers’ 49 would’ve been greater. Carolina was able to move the ball with Baker Mayfield playing against mostly reserves, and Cincinnati was more concerned about running the clock out on offense.
Clear the bench
No, literally, the bench held no one back. Everyone on the roster who was active ended up playing Sunday. From Clay Johnston (1), to Chris Evans (1) before the latter exited the game with a knee injury, no one was kept away from the action due to the blowout. Let’s run through the notables.
- Hakeem Adeniji (15) came in for La’el Collins at right tackle and played his usual snaps as an extra blocker earlier in the game, Trey Hill (7) came in for Ted Karras (67) at center, and Max Scharping (7). Jonah Williams and Cordell Volson both played all 74 snaps as the team only had eight lineman active.
- Brandon Allen (16) finished the game with Samaje Perine (27) behind him as Joe Burrow (58) and Joe Mixon (48) watched from the sidelines, basking in their excellent three quarters of play.
- Germaine Pratt (20) and Akeem Davis-Gaither (16) were the starters next to Logan Wilson (29), but Markus Bailey (19) saw plenty of run towards the end.
- That same balance occurred at defensive end, where Joseph Ossai (26) nearly played as much as Trey Hendrickson (29) and Sam Hubbard (27).
- Allan George (20) was active for the first time in his NFL career and came in for Eli Apple (29) to close out the game.
Injuries at cornerback had the Bengals starting the game with five defensive linemen, which meant Jalen Davis (46) played the second-most snaps on defense despite not being labeled as a starter. The Panthers being behind the entire game meant Davis was going to get plenty of snaps in coverage. Only Cam Taylor-Britt (49) played more as the rookie never left the field.
Trenton Irwin (36) experienced something similar as well. Trent Taylor (26) got the nod as the team’s No. 3 receiver to start the game, but Irwin was rotated in early and often before finishing the game. Mike Thomas (22) looks to be behind the pecking order in this Ja’Marr Chase-less offense.