Bengals QB Andy Dalton was perfect with the first-team while his backups struggled mightily, which only appears to justify the massive contract the Bengals gave him.
With the preseason game between the Jets and Bengals finished – the Jets pulling out the win 25-17 – there are several important takeaways for the two teams in the aftermath.
The offense is still built on the running game – Even with Chris Ivory sitting out the game, the Jets still had 4 players average 5.0 or more yards/carry. RBs Chris Johnson and Bilal Powell both showed that they can make those explosive big-plays, while QBs Geno Smith and Michael Vick once again demonstrated how effective they can make the offense when they run the ball.
The secondary is still a major issue – Not having starting CB Dee Milliner and instead replacing him for the game with safety-turned-CB Antonio Allen did not help, but when Allen was not being burned by WR AJ Green, the rest of the team was getting throttled in the 1st quarter by every player the Bengals could throw at them. Former 1st-round pick CB Kyle Wilson was beaten cleanly for a TD, and the Jets allowed over 150 passing yards in just the first quarter. The lone bright spot was Safety Calvin Pryor, who made a huge impact with the second-team defense. But besides Pryor, this secondary looks extremely vulnerable.
QB Andy Dalton is the glue to the offense – Going 8 for 8 with 144 yards, a TD and a perfect passer rating only further proves that the Bengals were justified in giving a long-term extension to Dalton. His accuracy with the deep ball and pocket awareness makes him easily the best QB in the AFC North. Just by looking at how much backup QBs Matt Scott and Tyler Wilson struggled, the Bengals will clearly be in a very bad place if Dalton gets hurt.
RBs Bernard and Green-Ellis will still be the starters – Despite great play by backups Cedric Peerman and Jeremy Hill (5.0 yards per carry between the two of them), Bengals RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis will likely retain his roster spot after Hill suffered a shoulder injury. While Bernard averaged only 3.1 yards per carry on 7 attempts, he scored the team’s lone rushing TD and, unlike Peerman, did not fumble the ball.