Atlanta Falcons vs. Cincinnati Bengals
The Atlanta Falcons and the Cincinnati Bengals meet on Thursday for a week 2 NFL Preseason matchup at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons are -3.5 point favorites over the Bengals with an over/under point total set at 37.
The Atlanta Falcons got off to a nice start in their first preseason game of the year but once the first unit left things deteriorated in a hurry as they fell to the Ravens. There didn’t seem to be a lot to worry about for Atlanta though they lost as Matt Ryan looked sharp going 9 for 13 for 155 yards and a touchdown while throwing one interception. At backup QB John Parker Wilson and Dominique Davis went the rest of the way at QB and each threw a pick and combined they had less yards than Ryan. Michael Turner carried the ball just five times and Jacquizz Rodgers had nine carries and a TD. Julio Jones was the star of the show offensively for the Falcons with six catches for 109 yards and a touchdown and Roddy White had three catches for 46 yards. Defensively Jonathan Massaquoi had six tackles as did Robert McClain, Dominique Franks, and Shan Schillinger as the Falcons defense allowed 118 yards on the ground and 2-3 yard through the air. This week we should see even more of the starters with it looking like Jacquizz Rodgers and Julio Jones are going to have increased roles this season but the Falcons are also looking for backup tight end help as they signed Chase Coffman this week hoping to find depth behind Tony Gonzalez.
The Cincinnati Bengals look dominant in their opening preseason game beating the New York Jets but it was a worst case scenario for them as there seemed to be an injury on almost every play. QB Andy Dalton played sparingly going 4 for 9 for 54 yards with Bruce Gradkowski and Zach Robinson not looking impressive. The Bengals ground game picked up where it left off last season, struggling, with Cedric Peerman averaging 4.3 yards per carry and BenJarvus Green-Ellis averaging 3.1 yards while rookie Dan Herron averaged just two yards. Marvin Jones, Armon Binns, and Brandon Tate each had two catches to lead the receivers. Vontaze Burfuct had six tackles and an interception to lead the defense as Dan Skuta had six tackles and Tony Dye had five. In all the Bengals allowed 116 rushing yards but just 57 passing yards. In this one we will see more of the starters but Travelle Wharton looks to be done for the year so the Bengals will be looking for a replacement and Carlos Dunlap and Rey Maualuga both were dinged up but should be OK.
The Bengals learned once again that while it’s always good to play against other guys before the season starts and stop hitting you teammates, there is a big risk and while the starters play more here, look for it to be very closely watched. This one is probably fairly close so getting more than a field goal looks to be the option.
Cincinnati Bengals +3.5 Atlanta Falcons