The Cincinnati Bengals were defeated 25-23 by the New York in their third pre season match. Ryan Finley, who has been one of the highlights of the pre season, continued to show why many expected to be drafted before the fourth round. On the night he completed 14 of 20 passes for an impressive 155 yards. More impressive is the fact he’s completed 73 percent of his passes this preseason.
The Bengals offensive line struggled last year and new head coach, Zac Taylor, has been watching intently during the pre season so that he can put the best players on the field. And there were some surprises as last year’s first round pick, Billy Price, found himself outside of the starting lineup for Week One. Taylor announced the starters as; LT Cordy Glenn, LG Michael Jordan, C Trey Hopkins, RG John Miller and RT Bobby Hart.
The Steelers defence was in fine form in this game and gave the team the early lead when Tennessee quarterback, Marcus Mariota, was sacked in the end zone for a safety by Stephon Tuitt. Tuitt flashed a few times in the 18 – 6 win over the Titans. He finished with two sacks and his play was encouraging, as was performance of Bud Dupree. Dupree has been largely disappointing during his Steelers career so sign the Light has gone on for him are important.
It’s worth mentioning here that Tennessee have really struggled in the pre season games that I’ve watched. Backup quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who comes over from Miami, has looked more at home under center than Mariota.
Back to the Steelers and, for my money, Mason Rudolph has out performed Josh Dobbs in the pre season and should have the lead on the job as Big Ben Roethlisberger’s backup. That continued in Week 3 as he completed 6 of 9 passes for 75 yards. He also added one touchdown and an interception. Rudolph looks much improved from this time last year. His 41-yard touchdown, a connection with James Washington, showcased his skills well.
The Cleveland Browns were defeated 13-12 on a day where Baker Mayfield and the starting offense underwhelmed. However, the main takeaway from this game was the strength of Cleveland’s defensive line. Tampa Bay’s quarterback, Jameis Winston, spent his day running for his life. He was sacked five times as the teaming of Myles Garrett with Oliver Fernon wreaked havoc.
On offense, it was Brown’s running back D’Ernest Johnson who made the most of his opportunities. Whilst he collected just 10 yards on 5 attempts rushing his ability as a receiver were clear. He hauled in passes for 43 yards.
I mentioned Trace McSorely’s performance last week and he continued to impress on Thursday night. He helped the Ravens to a 26-15 win and, while watching McSorely on dissect the Eagles defence was disappointing as an Eagles fan, you couldn’t help being impressed by his performance. He was the quarterback for all bar one of the Raven’s offensive snaps and finished the day 19 of 28 for 203 yards and 2 touchdowns. What stood out was his elusiveness and calm under pressure.
The match was also important for Marquise Brown, the Ravens first round pick. Although he caught all 3 passes that came his way for 17 yards, this was the first time that he saw the field in the pre season.
Photo Joe Maiorana, USA Today Sports
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