The Cincinnati Bengals have their first preseason test on Thursday. When the Chicago Bears come to Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Stadium. Giving fans a first glimpse at how the 2018 Bengals differ from last year.
Preseason games typically don’t draw much attention for understandable reasons. Most starters aren’t typically in a preseason game going into the second half. Yet, Thursday’s game will be interesting from a Bengals perspective for a few reasons. Starting with the most recent additions to the team. For reasons beyond this just being their first game in a Bengals uniform.
Many fans will be paying particular attention to the Bengals new additions on offense. From first round draft pick Billy Price to receiver Auden Tate. Plus there’s rookie quarterback Logan Woodside. One big question with him is whether he’ll be the second or third string QB in September. Competing with Matt Barkley and Jeff Driskel to replace AJ McCarron as the Bengals backup quarterback.
Bengals fans will also take interest in the competition for Brandon LaFell’s old job. LaFell was released last Thursday after two seasons in Cincinnati. During those two seasons he was the Bengals second primary receiver. Now younger receivers like the previously mentioned Auden Tate will be competing for that key role. Along with John Ross, Tyler Boyd and Alex Erickson among others.
The defense will be another area to keep an eye on Thursday night. An area not in the headlines as much in recent months. With repairing the offensive line becoming a top priority throughout the offseason. Along with the battle for prominent roster spots during training camp. Thursday’s game will give many Bengals fans their first glimpse of new defensive coordinator Teryl Austin at work.
Speaking of defense, the Bengals will face a team with a good reputation in that area. The Chicago Bears will go into Thursday’s game a week after their preseason debut. Chicago lost in their debut 17-16 to the Baltimore Ravens in the Hall of Fame Game. The last time the Bears and Bengals played each other was in week 14 last season. Ending in a blowout 33-7 loss for the Bengals.
Thursday’s exhibition kicks off at 7:00 PM Eastern time.