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5 things we learned from the Bengals’ preseason finale

Jackson Carman may have blown his opportunity to start.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Cincinnati Bengals Albert Cesare-USA TODAY Sports

It was a Super Bowl rematch that didn’t matter, which means there weren’t a whole lot of potential starters playing in the third and final preseason game for both the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals.

Still, a few things were made clear. And here they are:

1. Jackson Carman is not consistent enough to start

This is another way of saying, Cordell Volson forced himself into the starting lineup by outworking the former second round pick. Less than two weeks ago, Geoff Hobson came on our show and told us that, “I don’t think Volson has won [the starting left guard spot] or is even ahead.”

And now?

It’s all but official that Volson has leapfrogged Carman.

Here is head coach Zac Taylor on Volson:

And here he is on Carman:

As John Sheeran pointed out, the fact that coaches didn’t feel the need to see Volson and played Carman the whole game tell you everything.

But don’t expect Carman to necessarily get cut. As we saw this preseason, the team has bad depth at o-line, and Carman has the physical tools to be better than most other options.

So it appears that Volson has a better work ethic or understanding of how to improve. Carman, though, is still only 22 years old, which is, in fact, two years younger than Volson. And this front office doesn’t give up on its prospects as quickly as most.

2. Brandon Allen is no longer a lock to be the backup QB

Another shocker considering what Hobson told us back on August 15. The senior writer said:

“It’s Brandon Allen as a backup. I think there’s a far enough distance between [the other quarterbacks] and Brandon Allen that they would not consider [a change].”

But then, last night, when Paul Dehner Jr. asked if Allen were still the backup, Taylor was noncommittal:

3. Zach Carter is ascending

The third round pick out of Florida may provide more than just depth on the defensive line. He could be developing into something special.

A few weeks ago, Dan Hoard noted that Carter looked dominant in one-on-one pass drills and shared a quote that shows he is a willing learner.

And then, we all saw him make the most explosive play on defense last night, a monstrous strip stack of Rams quarterback Bryce Perkins that showcased his refined technique, strength, speed, and drive:

4. Drue Chrisman is probably the punter

Taylor said a decision would come soon after the final preseason game, which means that contest would be a factor. Though the situations were different, Chrisman booted two punts for 107 yards, including a 65-yarder. Kevin Huber, meanwhile, had two punts for 75 yards.

5. Kendric Pryor deserves to be on a roster

If the Bengals didn’t have the best trio of wide receivers in the entire league, there would be no doubt that Pryor would make their 53 man roster. Thankfully for him, most teams don’t have Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd.

Last night, had another impressive preseason game, hauling in five passes for 65 yards and looking smooth in doing so.

There is a chance that the team keeps seven wide receivers, in which case, most think it’ll come down to Pryor or Kwamie Lassiter II. We talked about that competition and more in our most recent show.

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