Cincinnati once again rested almost all of their starters, but New York did play their starters. That means we got to see how some of these players fighting for starting spots or roster spots measured up against more of an actual team.
Offensive guard Cordell Volson: All eyes were on this rookie offensive guard with most of the starters sitting tonight. This was his golden opportunity to show he has surpassed Jackson Carman in the left guard competition while last season’s second round pick was out with a positive COVID result.
Volson did not disappoint. He even got to face the starting defensive line for the Giants. He had a couple of ugly plays, but for the most part, you didn’t notice him in pass protection, and he opened running lanes. We should see him seriously considered for the starting spot at left guard.
Safety Dax Hill: No surprise here. Hill popped in Week 1 of the preseason, and he only built off of it this week. He managed to make an incredible stop in open space that led to a turnover on downs the very next play, and he brought in his first interception diving for a tipped pass. He continues to show how much of a steal the Bengals got in Round 1.
Wide receiver Kendric Pryor and Kwamie Lassiter II: Pryor was the human highlight reel from Week 1. He managed to show off how well he makes contested catches again this week with some amazing grabs.
Lassiter led the team in catches (7) and yards (91) on the night. He was able to create separation fairly easily, and his only down moment was dropping a 2-point conversion late in the fourth quarter. He made up for that with a clutch catch on the final drive to get them into Giants territory.
Quarterback Brandon Allen: Allen missed most of the Week 1 outing with a concussion. He came out and did as well as he could with all the penalties holding the offense back.
Defensive line depth: We once again saw the likes of Joseph Ossai, Cam Sample and Zac Carter make a number of plays. These guys will see the field during the regular season. They were getting penetration, and making hustle plays on screens. They weren’t perfect, but they give plenty of excitement for how well of a rotation this team will have on the defensive line.
Punter Drue Chrisman: Chrisman was the only one of the punter to actually punt in this game. He did a very good job with a 48.5 yard average on his three punts. He also ran down a returner on one of his kicks.
Offensive lineman Jackson Carman: After having a really terrible outing in Week 1, he got to watch Volson do very well in his absence. This is a battle that will likely be an ongoing one, so Carman can potentially try and make his way back from this. However, he will have to play the best football we have seen him play yet to make up any ground next week.
Offensive line depth: Penalties were still a huge issue this week. It seemed like early and often, we were seeing holding penalties calling back any sort of big play. You can argue they were facing the starters on the Giants defense, but this is the talent level they will see if they have to fill in for a starter. In fact, they will probably face better. We just have to hope the starters stay healthy this year.
Punter Kevin Huber: Things aren’t looking good for the longest tenured Bengal. He didn’t kick a single punt, and he rotated with Chrisman as the holder for Evan McPherson. We will have to see how things shake out in the coming weeks, but it seems like Cincinnati is favoring the young guy currently.