Cumbleton’s Conclusions – Pre Season Week 2

Cumbleton’s Conclusions – Pre Season Week 2
Reading Time: 3 minutes.

Ravens

The key goal of any team in the pre season is to avoid key injuries. For the Raven’s, Week 2 saw them lose one of their starting cornerbacks, Tavon Young. Young, who signed a three-year contract back with the Ravens in February, suffered a season ending neck injury. The team will need to work out who starts opposite Marlon Humphrey. Clearly not an ideal situation for a team that lost so much defensive talent in free agency.

Whilst that’s the bad news, the good news was the evolution of Trace McSorley. The former Penn State product completed 8 of 13 passes for 74 yards. Although he threw for one touchdown in the 26-13 win over the Packers, he also had one interception. His passing game continues to improve and he’s a useful weapon for the Ravens who could be used in the same way the Saints use Taysom Hill role. Another good performance in Week 3 and he could play his way onto the roster.

Steelers

James Washington continues to fill his resume in a bid to start opposite Ju Ju Smith-Schuster. Washington hauled in 4 passes for 78 yards in limited playing time and looks like the real deal. His emergence as a real threat would help the Steelers offense to be more dangerous. It certainly looks like having reasonable production from Washington without the headaches Antonio Brown caused is a win for Pittsburgh.

On defence the Steelers look to have found a good one in linebacker Ulysees Gilbert III. Through two weeks Gilbert has 6 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble. He’s looked like he belongs and will add depth to the Steelers linebacker Corp. He certainly played his part in the 17-7 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Browns

The Browns may have the next great British kicker in their midst. Jamie Gillan, a former rugby player in Scotland, only played in five high school football after he moved to America because of his dad’s work. That was enough for him to earn a scholarship to Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Scottish youngster has impressed in his appearance and has a real chance to win a starting job.

As the lead AFL writer for Ninety Nine Yards I watched Garrett Gilbert impress weekly. It was good to see Gilbert, now a backup quarterback with the Browns, get a chance to showcase his talent. He completed 13 of 19 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns. Gilbert is 28, so younger than many inexperienced quarterbacks, but he recorded a 127.3 rating. Could he be playing his way onto their roster?

Bengals

Ryan Finley was the best Bengals quarterback in the Bengals 23-13 win against the Washington Redskins. The rookie continued his impressive pre season in Week 2, completing 20 of 26 passes for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns. There’s no doubt in my mind that he should be the Bengals second string quarterback when the season starts.

One of the highlight from this one came on special teams. The Bengals, searching for depth at receiver got a big play from Alex Erickson. The receiver took a punt in the fourth quarter and returned it 75 yards for a touchdown. Special teams play is essential for players further down the roster and a great way to get noticed. Erickson did just that.

Photo Gail Burton

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