After two days of combined practices, the Cincinnati Bengals thanked the Falcons by hanging a 34-10 preseason win on them.
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis was pleased with the overall performance of his starters and new players. “I was pleased with the tackling on defense that was a good thing,” said Lewis. “I was pleased with play at the line of scrimmage. Need to do a better job of putting the ball in the air. I thought special teams did a nice job throughout the night and I was pleased.”
Pleased wasn’t one of the words Falcons coach Mike Smith used to describe the performance of the guys that played behind the starters. Smith had praise for draft picks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford, linebacker Paul Worrilow, and tackles Lamar Holmes (starting in place of the injured Mike Johnson) and Ryan Schraeder. Despite the few bright spots, the Falcons second team defense gave up 34 points in three quarters. “It’s obvious that we have a lot of work to do with those young guys,” said Smith.
The combined practices certainly paid off in the points column. For the coaches, the practice and game were just another evaluation tool. “We got a lot of good video for the guys that played and have a chance to work against them all week and have a chance to play with them,” said Lewis. “It gives a lot of young guys a chance to play it gives some of our rookie guys a chance to understand what it is to play in a game, playing on defense, playing on special teams.”
Josh Johnson made his case to become the top back-up to Bengals starter Andy Dalton by finishing atop the passing and rushing categories as well as accounting for four scoring drives. John Skelton finished the scoring for the Bengals with a 36 yard pass to Dane Sanzenbacher.
Atlanta scored its only touchdown of the game on an 8 yard pass from Dominique Davis to Jason Snelling on the Falcons first series of the second half. The 10 play 83 yard drive was the longest of the game on both sides of the ball.
Cincinnati heads home where they will host the Tennessee Titans next Saturday. Atlanta goes up I-95 to take on the seriously revamped and defending World Champion Baltimore Ravens.
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