Cincinnati again rested almost all of their starters, but New York played their starters. That means we got to see how some of these players fighting for starting spots or roster spots measured up against more of a real team.
Offensive guard Cordell Volson: All eyes were on this rookie offensive guard with most of the starters sitting tonight. This was his golden opportunity to show that he surpassed Jackson Carman in the left guard competition while last season’s second round pick was out with a positive COVID result.
Volson did not disappoint. He even faced the starting defensive line for the Giants. He had some ugly plays, but for the most part, you didn’t notice him in pass protection, and he opened up curl lanes. We should see him seriously considered for the starting spot at left guard.
Dax Hill Security: No surprise here. Hill showed up in Week 1 of the preseason, and he just built off of it this week. He managed to make an incredible stop in open space that caused a turnover on downs on the very next play, and he brought in his first interception dive for an overturned pass. He continues to show how much of a steal the Bengals got in Round 1.
Wide receiver Kendric Pryor and Kwamie Lassiter II: Pryor was the human highlight reel of Week 1. He managed to show how well he makes contested catches again this week with some amazing catches.
Lassiter led the team in catches (7) and yards (91) on the night. He was able to create separation fairly easily, and his only touchdown was a dropped 2-point conversion late in the fourth quarter. He made up for it with a clutch catch on the final drive to get them into Giants territory.
Quarterback Brandon Allen: Allen missed most of the Week 1 outing with a concussion. He came out and did as well as he could with all the penalties while containing the offense.
Depth of defensive line: We again saw the likes of Joseph Ossai, Cam Sample and Zac Carter make some plays. These guys will see the field throughout the regular season. They got penetration, and made riotous plays on screens. They weren’t perfect, but they provide a lot of excitement about how good a rotation this team will have on the defensive line.
Punter Drue Chrisman: Chrisman was the only one of the pitchers to actually punt in this game. He did a very good job with a 48.5 yard average on his three punts. He also ran down a returner on one of his kicks.
Offensive lineman Jackson Carman: After having a truly awful outing in Week 1, he saw Volson do very well in his absence. This is a fight that will likely be ongoing, so Carman may be able to try to bounce back from this. However, he’ll have to play the best football we’ve seen him play yet to make up any ground next week.
Offensive line depth: Penalties continued to be a huge problem this week. It seemed early and often, we saw holding penalties call back any kind of big play. You can argue that they faced the starters on the Giants defense, but this is the talent level they will see if they have to fill in for a starter. In fact, they will probably cope better. We just have to hope the starters stay healthy this year.
Provider Kevin Huber: Things are not looking good for the longest running Bengal. He did not kick a single punt, and he rotated with Chrisman as the holder for Evan McPherson. We’ll have to see how things shake out in the coming weeks, but it looks like Cincinnati favors the young man for now.