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Bengals open preseason with 36-19 loss to Packers

The Bengals showed off some potential young talent. It just didn’t lead to a winning formula.

The Cincinnati Bengals took their first steps for the 2023 campaign. They played their first of three preseason games. This one was against the Green Bay Packers.

As has become a tradition under the Zac Taylor Bengals, the starters all rested and didn’t play a single snap. The only exception was 2022 first-round pick safety Daxton Hill. That meant Cincinnati’s second team got some valuable reps against Green Bay’s starters.

It, unfortunately, didn’t do the Bengals any favors on the scoreboard. The starters did score a touchdown, but the backups on offense couldn’t get any consistency, and the defense couldn’t get off the field despite making some flashy plays.

Ultimately, the Packers won 36-19.

Thankfully, this is more about getting some actual game reps rather than essentially two-hand touch during practice. Plenty of film to go over from this one when they get back to practice.

The first quarter really had some of the young Bengal players flash their athleticism. Safety Daxton Hill made a highlight play by dashing from the middle of the field to break up a pass to an open wide receiver running down the sideline.

Cornerback DJ Turner was beaten on that play, but he settled in after that, That included a play where he ran from the middle of the field to make an open-field tackle on a receiver running out to the flat with quarterback Jordan Love on a bootleg.

For the offense, wide receiver Andrei Iosivas caught a back shoulder pass that converted a 3rd-and-seven. The play for the offense that first quarter was wide receiver Trenton Irwin caught a pass over the middle of the field that he took a little over 30 yards that set up an Evan McPherson field goal. Iosivas was active throughout the game.

The play of the first half was Tycen Anderson had a pick-6 for the team's first touchdown of the preseason. Special hat tip to Domenique Davis, who rushed the passer to force the throw.

Anderson wasn’t done, as he later intercepted another pass. This time, he took it out of the opposing tight end’s hands with just over a minute left in the half.

However, the Packers' offense was the one able to turn drives into touchdowns. They scored three touchdowns in the first half, mostly set up by breakdowns in coverage, missed tackles, and penalties.

The score at halftime had the Bengals trailing 21-16.

Quarterback Trevor Siemian started the second half but had a pass deflected early on for an interception. He put together some good plays, but overall, no one is pulling away at the backup quarterback position after Browning really didn’t do too much in the first half, either.

The theme of the day continued near the end of the third quarter. McPherson kicks a field goal (his fourth of the game, and then Green Bay made a big play (a kickoff return deep into Cincinnati territory) that they converted into a touchdown run. A missed extra point left the Packers up by 11.

Fifth-round rookie Chase Brown made some nice plays, including a 21-yard reception, but couldn’t get anything going on the ground.

In the fourth quarter, the Packers tacked on a long rushing touchdown after the defense took a bad angle. Running back Emmanuel Wilson took advantage by bouncing outside and outrunning everyone to put a nice bow on this one.

Plenty to improve on from this one. Consistency can be expected as guys are getting shuffled in and out, but too many big plays were given up, and not enough were made on offense.

We saw enough flashes from some young guys, but overall, everyone outside of McPherson and punter Brad Robbins has plenty to work on.

The real news is Bengals football is finally back!

Who Dey!!