It’s week 2 of the NFL preseason and the Washington Football Team will be facing the Cincinnati Bengals at home in FedExField this Friday. Bengals QB Joe Burrow is still recovering from his late-season knee injury last year and will be unable to play in this game, leaving backup QB Brandon Allen (who played the entire 1st half last week) to start.
The Bengals are a team in flux. On offense, they have a talented group of skill-position players, but their offensive line has been a work in progress for years, though they showed well against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, bolstered by several rookies. On defense, their strength for years has been the DL, but their LB corps is a work in progress. They have one of the more talented safety groups in the league headed by Jessie Bates III, but their CB group is in flux after replacing William Jackson III with Chidobe Awuzie (formerly of the Cowboys) in free agency.
To learn more about these and other issues, I asked Patrick Judis of Cincy Jungle five questions about the state of the Bengals and what to look for in this game.
1) The Bengals have a very talented trio of WRs in Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd. How have they looked so far and how would you rank them in terms of how productive you think they’ll be this season?
So Chase has reportedly had some issues with drops. However that is to be expected from a rookie who has been off of football for a season.
I do think the ceiling is all three wide receivers get to 1,000 yards. However, the more realistic situation is Higgins and Boyd outperform Chase. Chase probably has the more flashier plays, but the veterans are more reliable targets at this point.
2) Which position groups on the Bengals have the biggest talent dropoff between the 1st and 2nd team? Which groups are especially deep?
I would say the wide receiver group is the deepest. After Higgins, Boyd and Chase they have players like Auden Tate who could easily be a starter elsewhere. They also have players like Trent Taylor pushing other players as well as Michael Thomas. It is going to be a tough cut when that comes up.
The biggest difference between starters and second team probably comes at offensive line. We have a couple guys like Billy Price, D’Ante Smith and Fred Johnson to supplement starters, but overall the second team offensive line got worked in Week 1 of the preseason.
3) Who are some lesser known Bengals players we should expect to see make plays on Friday?
Watch the defensive line. Players like Darius Hodge and Cam Sample will play quite a bit being young players and [due to some] injuries. They played very well against the Bucs. Sample even ended the game with a sack for the win.
4) Who are some Bengals players you’re worried about losing at final cutdowns, but could be solid contributors for some team down the line
I think a player like DT Renell Wren who has had injury issues, but plenty of potential could catch on somewhere else. He is a freak as far as height weight speed, but the Bengals have brought in plenty of depth at that position.
5) What questions are you hoping to get answered in these preseason games?
I’m hoping to see an offense emerge that is capable of protecting Joe Burrow. I just hope the cream rises to the top regardless of who it is or where they are drafted. That is priority No. 1 among Bengals fans, and I’m no different. Just hoping Burrow makes it through this season healthy.
Thanks again to Patrick Judis for taking time out of his day to answer our questions about the Bengals.
Which matchup are you most interested to watch in this game?
This poll is closed
1st Team: Washington OL/DL vs Bengals DL/OL
1st Team: Washington WRs/DBs vs Bengals DBs/WRs
Washington QBs: Ryan Fitzpatrick vs Taylor Heinicke
Looking for someone to emerge among the 2nd team Washington WRs
Looking for someone to emerge among the 2nd team Washington DL
Something else (specify in comments)
Would you be willing to trade Chase Young for Joe Burrow straight up?
This poll is closed