A preseason loss doesn't account for much in the grand scheme of things. Though we certainly witnessed our share of negative play Saturday night, there were also many positives to note from the Bengals first preseason performance of 2019:
Here are my winners and losers from the Bengals first preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs:
Tate was a unanimous winner for the Bengals on Saturday night. Though he only managed 3 receptions, he made a combative 26-yard catch on the opening drive of the game. Tate reeled in all three of his targets, and elevated his status after this game.
Rookie quarterback, Ryan Finley, was admittedly impressive in his first NFL action. Though he did throw his first interception, Finley finished the game completing 13 of 18 pass attempts for 109 yards and a touchdown. He drastically outplayed Jeff Driskel in this contest.
Stanley Morgan Jr.
Though Damion Willis was one of the undrafted receivers making headlines during camp so far, it was Stanley Morgan who showed up on game day. Morgan caught 3 of his 5 targets for 42 yards in an impressive first preseason showing - bettering his chances of making the roster.
Brown had himself a day for the Bengals on Saturday night. He was a 2018 5th round draft choice, but failed to get involved as a rookie. Though he is listed behind Sam Hubbard and Carl Lawson on the depth chart, Brown is much more of a defensive lineman than en edge player. He showed that against the Chiefs with a sack and 3 quarterback hits from the inside.
The second year defensive back was frustrating to watch Saturday night. He had an awful time fielding punts as he muffed not one, but two returns - one of which resulted in a turnover. The second year player will need a much better performance in week 2 to redeem himself.
It wasn't all Jeff Driskel's fault that he finished the game completing less than 50 percent of his passes for a 32.6 passer rating. The backup offensive line was atrocious. O'Shea Dugas, Christian Westerman, and Justin Evans were awful in pass protection. They need to get things figured out moving forward.
For a guy with all of the tools like Malik Jefferson, it sure is frustrating to see how nothing is clicking. The Bengals had high hopes for Malik Jefferson when he was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2018 NFL Draft. However, he still looks lost on the field, and is too slow to diagnose and react. Jefferson still doesn't look ready to elevate himself on the depth chart in Cincinnati anytime soon.