CINCINNATI — The Bengals scrimmaged for the second and final time of training camp on Sunday night.
The defense rebounded with a 22-13 victory after losing the offense in scrimmage number one.
Let's take a look at the good and bad from Sunday night.
The 23-year-old wasn't perfect, but he still had a good night. He completed 19-of-33 passes for 197 yards and one touchdown.
There were at least five drops and a couple 50-50 balls that wide receivers didn't come down with.
"There were certainly some instances where there was some tight coverage and defenders made the play on a lot of those 50-50 passes," head coach Zac Taylor said. "And often times they had their back to the quarterback and receivers going up to make the play and the defense came out the winner in a lot of those. And a couple of them, were just drops."
Burrow made accurate throws on the run and showed off his athleticism. He started the scrimmage 0-for-3, before completing nine straight passes.
"Poise is his middle name," Taylor said. "That’s one way to put it. Not much fazes him. Probably the thing that gets him the most is when he thinks the error is his own and he doesn’t want to replicate the same mistake twice. But he’s a competitive guy and we except him to lead this offense to a lot of points."
He had a 28-yard touchdown catch on the second drive of the game for the first-team offense. He continues to have a great rapport with Burrow, who found him for a second score, but not before the rookie signal-caller was tagged down.
"He's going to have a big season," Burrow said. "He’s been working hard and really understands what we’re trying to get done on offense. I have a great connection with him right now as well as a lot of other guys."
Mike Thomas continues to make plays with the first-team offense. He had multiple catches on Sunday night. He only has 10 career receptions in the NFL, but the coaching staff thinks highly of the 26-year-old.
"I’ve seen it for the past three years. He’s an explosive guy," Taylor said. "He’s got good knowledge of our offense. He’s a quarterback friendly receiver. He had another nice day tonight and he’s had a really strong training camp so far."
Taylor spent the 2017 and 2018 seasons with Thomas in Los Angeles. It's hard to envision a scenario where he doesn't make the 53-man roster.
Cornerback Tony Brown flashed with the second-team defense. He got his hands on multiple passes and should've had at least one interception.
"Tony made some nice breaks on the ball and that’s the biggest thing we need to see from those corners," Taylor said. "They get their hands on the football right now, which is encouraging to see, now we just have to be great finishing those."
Germaine Pratt and Josh Bynes started the scrimmage with the first-team defense, as expected. Bynes didn't play much, as the team wanted to preserve the veteran linebacker for Week 1.
That gave Pratt an opportunity to show what he could do. He was routinely around the ball and showed his athleticism in coverage.
"He's not playing like a rookie this year," Taylor said. "He's stepped up and made the strides he needed to make. When you're calling plays on offense it's hard to get an assessment of the defense right now until we get a chance to [watch film], but I've been impressed with the way that those linebackers have made strides all camp."
Logan Wilson and Akeem Davis-Gaither both looked the part as well. Wilson made multiple plays in coverage and Davis-Gaither was his normal, physical self.
Stanley Morgan Jr.
Morgan is known for his special teams abilities, but he had a nice one-handed catch on the near sideline during the scrimmage. It looked like Burrow overthrew him. Instead, Morgan was able to adjust and make a play.
The wide receiver battle is arguably the toughest in all of camp. The Bengals have a bunch of capable pass catchers. The battle for the final couple receiver spots is going to go down to the wire.
Hubbard was disruptive on Sunday night. He got after Burrow more than once.
"He was getting after it," Burrow said. "That was good to see. That was kind of my first full speed reps against Sam in a long time."
Hubbard leads the 2018 draft class with 14.5 sacks. He battled Jonah Williams for most of the night, but also switched sides and went up against Bobby Hart.
A.J. Green and John Ross
Green wasn't even in pads on Sunday. Ross went through pregame warmups, but then he was done for the day.
"We're at the point now where we just need to keep our guys healthy and keep them ready to play in two weeks from today," Taylor said. "We'd be walking off the field right now from that first game. We're just going make sure we keep our guys health and get some quality work in."
Auden Tate didn't participate in the scrimmage either. That could be because the Burrow-Tate connection was the headliner after the Bengals' first scrimmage. He was in full pads and went through pregame warmups.
Green is officially listed as day-to-day and Ross' absence was "precautionary" according to Taylor.
Mixon didn't participate in the scrimmage. He hasn't practiced with the team since Sunday, Aug. 23.
The 24-year-old was on the field and did go through pregame agility drills. The Bengals didn't offer any timetable for his return.
"Just work him back when he starts to feel better," Taylor said. "It’s good to see him around."
Watch video of Mixon's pregame workout below.
What offensive line competition?
The Bengals entered training camp with multiple starting spots potentially up for grabs along their offensive line. It appears Bobby Hart and Xavier Su'a-Filo have seized control of the right side.
They both took the majority, if not all of the first-team reps. Fred Johnson, Billy Price and Hakeem Adeniji were primarily with the second-team.
The Bengals appear to be all-in on (from left to right) Williams, Michael Jordan, Trey Hopkins, Su'a-Filo and Hart being their Week 1 starters.
It would be one thing if that unit was playing well, but they've been inconsistent throughout training camp. The offensive line still appears to be the biggest weakness on the team.
"There's obviously some challenges from our defensive line and as a playcaller it effects the way you think with those guys up front," Taylor said. "There are some things we have to clean up, but there were some positives. We get some nice runs and had time on some of those throws and on those extended plays they did a good job of covering up those guys so Joe could moved around a little bit."
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