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4 things we learned from the Bengals’ (mostly) ugly preseason loss to the Cardinals

Hug the starters and tell them you love them.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Cincinnati Bengals Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals fans got to see a lot of new faces out on the field last night. But they’re probably hoping they won’t have to see too much more of them in the near future.

An offense that is to be headed by Joe Burrow and feature Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, Joe Mixon, and a revamped o-line should look a lot different from the guys that represented the team at newly-christened Paycor Stadium for the first time. Of course, there were some positives as well.

Here are four things we learned from watching the Bengals lose to the Cardinals, 36-23, in the AFC champions’ preseason debut:

The offense will not be good if (God forbid) Burrow misses significant time

Neither Brandon Allen nor Jake Browning is taking the Bengals places. The crowd was particularly unimpressed when Browning’s pass attempt to Jack Sorenson on 3rd and four with 9:58 left in the second quarter hit dirt:

The offensive line doesn’t have great depth

Yes, it was backups against backups or even the backups of backups against backups of backups and sometimes even... you get the point. But you would still like to see some holes open up, right? Instead, guys like Hakeem Adeneji and Isaiah Prince (who the team relied on last year) contributed to a run game that had just 62 yards on 28 carries, good for 2.2 yards per carry.

And here’s all you need to know about the pass protection:

We’re a little sick of exposing Burrow to things like that. And so, with Jackson Carman struggling despite inferior competition, fans are calling for reinforcements.

The team may have something in rookie receiver Kendric Pryor

The undrafted free agent out of Wisconsin had four receptions for 89 yards and a touchdown. He was actually developing some nice chemistry with fourth-stringer Drew Plitt, who had the best night of all the quarterbacks. Check out Pryor’s toe drag on the first catch in this clip:

... and his amazing near-180-degree, one-handed grab late in the fourth quarter:

... and the time he beat the defense deep for a touchdown with 1:14 left in the game:

To be fair, Trent Taylor (four receptions on four targets for 74 yards) had a nice night as well. Point is, the Bengals should have good depth at receiver.

Evan McPherson is a rising superstar

No, seriously. I can’t imagine a kicker being more popular in a city. Just look at the crowd’s reaction to this 58-yard field goal in the first quarter:

McPherson would captivate fans once again with a 56-yarder in the second quarter.

For an update on Burrow and the story behind Paycor getting stadium naming rights, check out our recent interview with Bengals Director of Communications Emily Parker:

You can also listen on iTunes or using the player below: