NFL News & Analysis

NFL Preseason Week 2 Game Recap: Washington Football Team 17, Cincinnati Bengals 13

Aug 20, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) passes the ball under pressure from Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Cameron Sample (96) in the first quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Burrow didn't return to the field for the Cincinnati Bengals this week, and both groups of starters were underwhelming, as they struggled to put points on the board.

Nonetheless, the Washington Football Team eventually grabbed a fourth-quarter lead and won the game 17-13.


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Cincinnati Bengals

Quarterbacks
  • Joe Burrow warmed up but did not play as he edges closer to his Week 1 return from a knee injury.
  • Brandon Allen was uninspiring, inaccurate and, at times, just careless with the football. He was fortunate to escape without a turnover on a throw to a wheel route from the slot, as he misread the defender before putting the ball right in his hands. Even adjusting for three drops, his completion rate was just 64.7%.
  • Kyle Shurmur entered the game with a little more than four minutes left in the third quarter. He fumbled on a play where there was a snap count miscommunication with his offensive line, which put him under pressure almost immediately.
  • Former XFL quarterback Eric Dungey also received snaps in the fourth quarter.
Player Dropbacks BTTs TWPs 1st Downs
Brandon Allen 19 0 1 4
Kyle Shurmur 5 0 1 1
Eric Dungey 9 0 0 3
Running Backs
  • It wasn’t a strong rushing performance from the Bengals, but Chris Evans was the back who stood out the most. On seven carries, he gained 40 yards, more than half of which came after contact.
Receivers/Tight ends
  • It was a night to forget for Ja’Marr Chase, as he finished with three drops on three targets. The second one was a bad case of alligator arms, as he felt an incoming hit from the safety he was being led into. The third may have been broken up even if he hadn’t dropped the ball.
  • Tee Higgins displayed strong hands after running a dig route on a pass behind him.
  • Auden Tate had the catch of the night, taking the ball away from Troy Apke despite being interfered with. He also had a great snag later in the game, holding on through a big hit. Twenty-five percent of Tate’s snaps came from the slot.
Receiver Targets Receptions Yards Routes Run Drops
Trenton Irwin 6 2 24 8 0
Ja'Marr Chase 3 0 0 7 3
Tee Higgins 3 1 11 7 0
Thaddeus Moss 3 2 6 11 0
Mike Thomas 3 3 14 13 0
Auden Tate 2 2 23 16 0
Trent Taylor 2 1 3 17 0
Offensive Line
  • The first-team offensive line was flagged repeatedly early in the game. Quinton Spain drew a holding penalty on a screen, and Riley Reiff quickly followed it up with a false start.
  • The second-team offensive line impressed despite getting some reps against Washington’s starters. Cincinnati's quarterbacks were under very little duress all game, as the offensive line combined to allow just three total pressures.

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Defensive Line
  • Cincinnati’s defensive front looked nasty, especially early in the game against Washington’s starters. Undrafted rookie Darius Hodge again showed up after an impressive debut a week ago, running with the first team initially and notching a hit on Washington quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Hodge played 32 total snaps.
  • Rookie Cameron Sample was leading the team in pressures before a shoulder injury ended his day.
Linebackers
  • Second-year linebacker Logan Wilson made some plays for Cincinnati’s defense. He had a forced fumble and a tackle for loss but was also at the heart of a coverage breakdown that resulted in a Logan Thomas catch on the first play.
Secondary
  • Chidobe Awuzie has a lot of pressure on him this season, but he blanketed Terry McLaurin on a deep route into the end zone to break up a classic YOLO pass from  Fitzpatrick, who was under pressure.
  • Cornerback Jalen Davis had another strong performance after a good game last week. Davis had two defensive stops and allowed just six yards per catch in coverage.
Defensive Back Targets Receptions Yards Yards Per Reception
Jalen Davis 6 4 24 6
Darius Phillips 5 4 55 13.8
Winston Rose 4 4 33 8.3
Chidobe Awuzie 3 2 15 7.5
Mike Hilton 2 1 10 10

Washington Football Team

Quarterbacks
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick managed just one first down during his time, but he doesn't deserve the blame for that lack of production. The first drive sputtered because of two drops from Washington receivers, and he almost threw an interception on a play where a receiver stopped his route.
  • Taylor Heinicke had good numbers but was constantly on the move, and his grade will suffer due to a fumble. It was unfortunate that he didn't lead a TD drive just before the half. After a well-thrown pass, Cam Sims was forced out of bounds in the end zone, rendering his catch incomplete.
  • Kyle Allen played in the fourth quarter and was solid, completing two of four attempts for 23 yards.
Player Dropbacks Adjusted Comp % ADOT 1st Downs
Ryan Fitzpatrick 14 61.5 9 3
Taylor Heinicke 18 84.6 5.2 6
Kyle Allen 4 75 14 1
Running Backs
  • Antonio Gibson is the unquestioned starter and looked good with the first team. He ran well and made slick cuts on screens. Gibson totaled 27 yards after the catch on two catches.
  • Jarret Patterson was making moves with the second-team offense. He ran hard and was tough to bring down. He also had a nice kick return as well early in the third quarter, which should help him secure a roster spot.

Receivers/Tight ends
  • Logan Thomas opened the game with a big gain on a crossing route. It's the second straight week he’s had a nice gain with the starters.
  • Dyami Brown was starting in two-receiver sets early alongside Terry McLaurin, but a drop on a scramble play from Fitzpatrick won’t help his cause. He made up for it later with a nice back-shoulder catch on a go route for 29 yds.

  • Antonio Gandy-Golden made some plays. He converted a two-point attempt this week, where he took the ball away from the defensive back. It’s the second successive week he has been targeted on a two-point attempt. He generated a 108.3 passer rating when targeted.
Receiver Targets Receptions Yards Routes Run
Dyami Brown 4 2 33 21
Cam Sims 3 2 19 18
Antonio Gandy-Golden 3 3 38 11
Adam Humphries 3 0 0 7
Terry McLaurin 3 1 5 13
Ricky Seals-Jones 2 2 20 18
Logan Thomas 2 1 28 13
Offensive Line
  • Washington’s offensive line was struggling early in the game against Cincinnati’s pass-rush. It wasn’t all one-on-one losses, but Fitzpatrick and Heinicke were constantly forced to run and make plays outside of the pocket. The group surrendered 12 total pressures.
  • Samuel Cosmi continues to grade extremely well as a run blocker but much less so in pass protection.
Defensive Line
  • Washington's much-vaunted defensive front wasn’t winning its battles with an offensive line it should have dominated. The starters didn’t last a long time or make a big impact.
Linebackers
  • First-round rookie Jamin Davis had a better game this week than his debut. He looked much more decisive with his reads and made a pair of defensive stops.
Secondary
  • Don’t sleep on Benjamin St-Juste. He had back-to-back plays in the first quarter where he provided tight coverage against Tee Higgins on a fade before being all over Ja’Marr Chase on a third-down slant.
  • Landon Collins looked like his old self in this game. He spooked Chase into dropping a pass and delivered a big hit early in the game after a catch by a Bengals tight end.

Landon Collins: Snaps by Alignment 

Line of scrimmage 1
Box 3
Free Safety 6
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