The Bengals fell to the Cardinals 36-23 Friday night, and although the score was ugly for a majority of the game, there were many notable players that had promising performances.
Here are the winners and losers from the Bengals first preseason game of 2022:
The rookie out of Coastal Carolina impressed Friday night with a sack and several nice reps. His jump off the line of scrimmage looks NFL ready and based on his first preseason game, he looks to have a really solid chance at a roster spot. Gunter and fellow rookie defensive lineman Zach Carter were two standout defensive players from the Bengals matchup against the Cardinals.
Evans was the most exciting player on the field for most of the game. Even though he had a long run and a touchdown called back due to penalties, he still showed his abilities and has a shot at being the RB2 for the Bengals. He also had a great kick return, which helps his chances at earning that role this season.
Bengals first round draft pick Dax Hill really impressed Friday night. His presence was known the entire time he was in the game and at times he really looked like he was the best player on the field. Hill is projected to get a good amount of snaps as the Bengals third safety and would start should Jessie Bates not sign the franchise tag.
Brandon Allen left the game early with a concussion, and Jake Browning stepped up with some really nice play in Allen’s absence. He finished the game 13-24 with 190 yards. With his play Friday night, it certainly looks like Browning could compete for the backup quarterback spot, although the odds aren’t great.
Although Taylor most likely already had a roster spot locked up due to his special teams abilities, he further solidified his role with a four reception, 74 yard game on Friday night. Stanley Morgan appears to have the WR4 role on the Bengals depth chart, but Trent Taylor should have an opportunity for some targets in 2022.
Not that the Bengals kicker had anything to prove, but he sure impressed on Friday night. McPherson went 3/3 on field goals including one from 58 yards and another from 56 yards. He looks to pick up where he left off from his historic 2021 season.
Rounding out the long list of winners for the Bengals tonight is UDFA WR Kendric Pryor. His odds of making the team are uncertain, but his 76 yard, 1 TD performance certainly helps his cause. His highlight reel catches stood out in a game where the Bengals struggled.
The left guard had a brutal first half against the Cardinals. Carman was beat multiple times early on and received a holding penalty. He was also the only projected starter to be in the game late in the 2nd quarter, which could be telling of what the team thinks about the second-year offensive lineman.
Moss had two holding calls, one of which brought back a long Chris Evans run, and the other took a Chris Evans touchdown off the board. He did end up with a couple nice receptions, but the penalties need to be cleaned up
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