2011 NFL Preseason: Quick Slants – Bengals vs. Lions
A tale of two cities. You have Detroit, who has a ton of confidence as we start the new season. Coming off 4 wins to end the season, they have become many people’s picks as a surprise team. Then there’s Cincy. A disappointing 4-12, in rebuilding mode, and in line for growing pains with Andy Dalton at QB. The score reflected public opinion.
The #1 pick is back: Matt Stafford went 6 of 7 with 2 TDs last night, which was all you could ask for. Hit Calvin with a nice back-should fade and an nice route, both against Leon Hall. The rapport is there for both of them to have a big season. If healthy, Stafford could be a top 8 QB.
Was that Jahvid the Best? Jahvid Best looked a bit bigger to me. They said on the broadcast that he did track workouts in the off-season as opposed to football. He did not show that explosive speed during the game. With Leshoure out for the year he’s the clear number one, which certainly helps his stock although he is an injury risk too.
That’s nice: Houston looked sharp in coverage, intercepting a deep throw.
Elephant in the room: Protection is still the number one issue with this team and they’ll have to show me otherwise during the regular season. Backus looked decent against Johnson but he’s not Matthews, Peppers, or Allen.
Bust Alert: It is too early to come to conclusions based on the preseason, but I said it before and during the draft, now here I go after the draft. Dalton looked shaky from the beginning, making a poor decision which was quickly intercepted. He showed happy feet and did not handle the pressure well – throwing into double coverage. I think this guy has maxed out, but we’ll see.
Value Alert: Benson looked strong and had to be since they went to him five straight times after Dalton’s INT. Falling in drafts because off-field, injury history, and poor opinion of team, but should be leaned on heavily as long as they can.
Star Alert: A.J. Green is going to be a stud. He lined up on both sides of the formation and looked for often, somewhat a surprise and a nice upgrade for him. He will be their number one option and has the potential to be a top WR in this league down the line. Meanwhile, Simpson showed some skill but upside will be limited this year by Dalton…intriguing free agent next year.