Playing without their starters once again, the Bengals will now make the final cuts to the roster with the regular season kicking off in a few short weeks. With that in mind, let's take a quick look at some winners and losers from tonight’s win over the Rams.
Special Teams returners: With Chris Evans seemingly locking up the kick return duties, Trent Taylor flashed once again today on punt return. Bigger picture however is how good both units have been at executing blocks to help spring the returners to some open field. Add in Evan McPherson and Kevin Huber or Drue Chrisman, and the Bengals figure to have one of the better special teams units in the league.
Brandon Allen: One of the most popular people on the team is the back-up quarterback, and Allen has done enough this pre-season to give fans the peace of mind if he has to check in for a series or two during a game.
Defensive depth: Granted teams are not throwing their first string units at this Bengals team throughout an entire game, the depth at each level of the defense is something that stood out once again today as they held the Rams to seven points. Should be beneficial as we get into the season.
Trenton Irwin: An oft-forgotten piece of the receiving corps, Irwin flashed some solid hands and solid route running today. As he fights to make the 53-man roster, he proved today that when needed he can be a reliable target for Joe Burrow.
Evan McPherson: Not much to say here besides this point. McPherson is reliable as they come.
Bengals first-half scoring in the preseason:— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) August 27, 2022
Evan McPherson: 27
Rest of team: 0
Tegray Scales & Clay Johnston: Both linebackers debuted on the pre-season depth chart in the third-team slots, but both proved their value and versatility tonight. Johnston has gotten several regular season reps over the last few seasons, and has played well in each appearance.
Scales, A Cincinnati native who played for the Houston Gamblers in the USFL this summer, has bounced around several NFL practice squads including the Bengals in 2021. He will be looking to stick around with the Bengals for a while now with an impressive outing tonight at Paycor Stadium.
Offensive Line depth: The Bengals have the franchise quarterback and the skill talent to match it. Unfortunately the offensive line has been the Achilles Heel of this roster the last several seasons. The front office made some big moves to improve the first five this offseason, but the depth still isn’t there. It will be something to watch as we get deeper into the regular season.
Kwamie Lassiter II: Seemingly in a battle with Kendric Pryor heading into this game to make the roster, Pryor seemed to separate himself a little this evening. Unfortunately for Lassiter, it appears that Trent Taylor has locked up the punt return duties with another nice return today, to go alongside his muffed punt in the first half. It will come down to the wire for where Lassiter lands, with the roster cuts needing to be done by Tuesday.
Jackson Carman: It appears that the second-year player out of Clemson has lost the battle for that starting left guard spot. The former second round pick came into the season with high expectations, but it appears he will have to continue to fight to get on the field.