In many ways, sloppy play is to be expected in the first week of preseason. As for the 2021 preseason, he may be granted an additional pass, given that there have been no summer contests in 2020.
At this year’s Cincinnati Bengals’ first show, things were ugly on a game-by-game basis, but the overall result was what was desired. Here are the Bengals’ biggest winners and losers against the Buccaneers in Week 1 of the preseason.
Joseph Ossaï : There were a few points of interest in an otherwise meaningless preseason game. One of those facets was the generation of a pass rush and the addition of a raw draft that the team invested in in the third round of this year’s draft.
Teaming up with the new acquisition of free agent Trey Hendrickson, Ossai made an immediate impact by securing his first career sacking against GOAT, Tom Brady. It’s raw and in need of development, but the tools for a good pass-rusher are there. Hoping that his wrist injury is not too serious.
Lou Anarumo: The Bengals have made big investments on the defensive end of the ball since Zack Taylor’s new regime took over the last three offseason. The hope is that the “Lou guys” will bear fruit in 2021.
The aforementioned Ossai and Hendricksons flashed in a few shots, while the others made the Buccaneers’ attack uncomfortable. The Bengals defense had a half-dozen passes defended and two interceptions to go with two sacks in total.
Traveon Henderson : With Jessie Bates’ contract situation evolving, it would have been nice to see the backup defensive backs make plays. Henderson scored his second career interception with the team in what was his ninth preseason game. Pieces like this are the reason Henderson has stayed with Cincinnati since 2018.
Evan McPherson et Austin Seibert : It looks like the Bengals are well placed in special teams. Darrin Simmons’ hitting unit was perfect that night, pulling off all three field goal attempts (McPherson was 2 of 2 and Seibert 1 of 1) and extra points with veteran Seibert scoring his point after.
Darius Phillips : After a few offseason with high-priced free agent cornerback acquisitions, Phillips saw himself from the outside watching, so to speak. However, on Saturday, he made the most of his hybrid role with this team, scoring 42 yards on two special teams returns and two more defended passes in defense.
Kavon Frazier: The secondary depth board is largely planned, but the guys are looking for spots, but the guys in the back are making plays. Frazier had an interception and led the team with three total tackles.
Brandon Allen: The favorite for the Cincinnati second-string quarterback had an interception on the stats line (more on that in a minute), but he showed a lot of flashes. The interception was on a point of a catchable ball and finished 7 of 10 for 77 yards.
Jacques Patrick: At the start of the fourth quarter, Patrick didn’t have a big stat line. However, the team leaned on him to wrap things up, and he responded. He finished with 15 carries for 71 yards (4.7 yards per carry) and a touchdown.
Zack Taylor : The struggling head coach was expected to start 2021 on a high note, regardless of the nuances of the preseason. Getting a road win over the Super Bowl champions is a good start, even for a largely meaningless result.
Darius Hodge : Marshall’s undrafted free agent came as a big surprise as he racked up 1.5 sacks, five QB hits and several other pressures. Depending on Joseph Ossai’s injury status, Hodge could quickly move from outside the roster bubble to seeing a big role within that out-of-rim defense.
Uniforms: It was our first look at the “New Stripes”, namely the new black uniforms. Against the new white pants, it looked great for an “outdoor” uniform.
Samaje Périne: The running game didn’t start until late and the Cincinnati staff love what Perine brings, but it was a tough first outing for him in 2021. The veteran had three carries for five yards and a lost fumble to the Bucs.
Mitchell Wilcox : The tight final position is a bit on the move and there are places to grab, but a promising undrafted free agent in 2020 has had a rough night. Wilcox has good receiving skills, but finished with just two catches for zero yards. Ouch.
Kyle Shurmur : While he had the football and offense in control late in the game, it wasn’t the best of the third-string quarterback’s results on Saturday. He finished 12 of 19 for 108 yards (9.0 yards per completion) and an interception.