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Postgame Observations: Offensive Line Struggles, Bengals Lose to Cardinals 36-23

Cincinnati falls to 0-1 in the preseason.

CINCINNATI — The Bengals lost to the Cardinals 36-23 on Friday night in the preseason opener. 

Neither team played their starters. Here are our postgame observations:  

O-Line Struggles

Jackson Carman was hoping to seize control of the starting left guard job on Friday night. Instead, it looks like the Bengals are headed for a full blown competition. 

If the door was cracked for rookie Cordell Volson entering Friday's game, it slammed open after Carman's performance in the first half. The second-year lineman was called for a holding penalty and was routinely beaten by the Cardinals' backups. 

It got so bad that free agent guard Quinton Spain trolled the Bengals on social media. 

Volson had some good reps in the second half, which probably means the rookie will play earlier next week against the Giants. 

Money Mac

Evan McPherson picked up where he left off last season. The second-year kicker was 3-for-3 on field goal attempts in the first half, including a 58-yard field goal.

Clark Harris was the long snapper and Drue Chrisman was the holder on the long kick.

McPherson followed that up with a 56-yarder with Harris snapping and Kevin Huber holding.

Taylor Time

Trent Taylor had a great first half, compiling four receptions for 74 yards. He had a great 36-yard over-the-shoulder catch in the second quarter.

Jake Browning and Allen both threw the ball well, despite being under constant pressure with the offensive line struggling.

Taylor wasn't the only receiver that played well. Kendric Pryor had a few nice catches, finishing with four receptions for 89 yards and one touchdown.


Brandon Allen suffered a concussion in the first quarter. Tight end Mitchell Wilcox suffered a left ankle injury after being rolled up on in a pile and has been declared out.

The team was already without Cam Taylor-Britt. The rookie cornerback was inactive due to a core muscle injury

Bates in Attendance

Jessie Bates was in a suite on Friday night at Paycor Stadium. He watched Dax Hill have multiple pass breakups, including a near interception in the endzone. 

Bates hasn't reported for training camp, but he was at the game. 

Plitt Plays

Loveland native Drew Plitt got in during the fourth quarter and was impressive. He finished 6-for-6 for 76 yards and one touchdown. Plitt also had a perfect 158.3 passer rating. 

The Bengals signed him at the start of training camp after Joe Burrow underwent an appendectomy on July 26.

Burrow Improving

Burrow didn't suit up on Friday night, but he did run sprints with Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and other teammates before the game. 

It's a good sign for the star quarterback as he continues to recover from an appendectomy. Watch video of his sprints here.

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