Bengals travel to Atlanta tonight to take on Falcons in Preseason Game 2

By Lydia Jane Allison


Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. Eastern.
Television: Live coverage on the Bengals Preseason TV Network with
broadcasters Mike Watts (play-by-play), Anthony Munoz (analyst) and Marisa
Contipelli (sideline reporter). The network is led by flagship WKRC-TV (CBS
Channel 12) in Cincinnati. Also on the network are WKEF-TV (ABC Ch. 22) in
Dayton, WSYX-TV (ABC Ch. 6) in Columbus, WLIO-TV (FOX Ch. 8.2) in Lima,
and WDRB-TV (FOX Ch. 41) in Louisville, Ky.
Radio: The game will air on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati
flagship stations WCKY-AM (1530) and WEBN-FM (102.7). Broadcasters are
Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst).

Setting the scene: The Bengals hit the road for the first time since
the AFC Championship in January when they travel to Atlanta to take on the
Falcons on Friday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Cincinnati enters the game 0-1 in preseason, after a 36-19 loss at home to
Green Bay last Friday. While head coach Zac Taylor acknowledged the offense’s
efficiency in putting together several extended drives, he felt the inability to
capitalize on scoring opportunities proved to be the difference in the game.
“Offensively, we didn’t get the ball in the end zone at all,” Taylor said.
“Kicked some field goals, had the defensive touchdown, but ultimately, that’s
what we’re judged on — protecting the football and getting the team in the end
zone. Not enough of that tonight.”
Defensively, the Bengals gave up 437 net yards (254 passing, 183 rushing),
and allowed back-to-back Packers TD drives early in the first half that put
Cincinnati behind 14-3. But perhaps the most optimistic performance in the loss
came from second-year S Tycen Anderson, who grabbed two INTs in the second
quarter alone including a 43-yard pick-six that proved to be the Bengals’ lone
score of the night. Anderson, a 2022 fifth-round pick who spent his entire rookie
season on the Reserve/Injured list (hamstring), left a positive impression on his
teammates and coaches in his first game action since last year’s third preseason
“I feel like a proud big brother, knowing what it meant for him losing all of last
year, seeing him work, putting in the time and seeing what it’s meant to him,”
said veteran S Michael J. Thomas. “To get in that first preseason game and have
that type of game, those big plays — I know that feeling, I’ve been there before,
so just proud of him.”
“Anytime you see a guy make a play on the football and then score on
defense, it’s great,” said defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo. “He had two of
them, which is good to see. Certainly enough stuff that he’s got to clean up in the
other part of the game, but we’re happy with what we saw.”
Splitting the reps at QB were Jake Browning and Trevor Siemian. Browning,
a first-year pro who has spent the past two seasons on Cincinnati’s practice
squad, played the entire first half and went 10 of 17 for 95 yards with an INT.
Siemian, who enters his ninth NFL season and first with the Bengals after joining
the team as a free agent in May, came in for the second half and completed 15
of 28 passes for 121 yards and a pick.
Browning and Siemian figure to receive a bulk of the work this week again,
as Pro Bowl signal-caller Joe Burrow continues to rehab a strained calf. Taylor
on July 28 told reporters that Burrow’s recovery would take “several weeks.”
Another bright spot in the preseason opener, in addition to Anderson, was
the right leg of third-year K Evan McPherson. The fan-favorite converted each of
his four FG attempts from distances of 38, 51, 39 and 43 yards, and he is now 18

of 19 on FGs in his preseason career.
A notable storyline for the remainder of training camp will be the competition
at punter. Second-year pro Drue Chrisman, who took over the team’s primary
punting duties midway through the 2022 season, returned to full participation in
practice on Sunday after missing time due to a medical issue. Rookie Brad
Robbins, a sixth-round pick out of the University of Michigan, has handled
Cincinnati’s punting and holding responsibilities in the meantime. In his
preseason debut, Robbins punted five times for 224 yards (44.8 average) with
one touchback and one downed inside the Packers’ 20-yard line.
“It’s good to get out there in front of the crowd and get that first game under
your belt,” Taylor said. “I’m sure that there are some things that him and Darrin
(Simmons) will be able to work on, but it’s good to get out there and hold — first
of all — for some of those good field goals. I thought that operation was really
good. Then, a chance to watch the tape and work on some of the things that
Darrin wants to work on.”
The Falcons enter Friday’s matchup 1-0 in preseason, after opening with a
19-3 win at Miami last Friday.

The series: The Bengals lead 10-5 overall in regular season, including
4-3 as the road team. Cincinnati has won the three most recent regular-season
meetings — at Cincinnati in 2014 and ’22, and at Atlanta in ’18.
In preseason, the Bengals have won the past two meetings, in 2012 and ’13
(both played in Atlanta). The Falcons, however, have an 8-4 advantage over the
Bengals overall in preseason, thanks primarily to a seven game preseason win
streak vs. Cincinnati from 1990-2007.
The two teams were scheduled to play in the 2020 preseason, but the game
was canceled that year (as was the entire NFL preseason schedule) due to the
COVID-19 pandemic.

Bengals-Falcons connections: Falcons S Jessie Bates III was
a second-round draft pick of the Bengals in 2018 and spent five seasons (’18-22)
in Cincinnati … Falcons CB Tre Flowers played for the Bengals for two seasons
(2021-22) … A number of Bengals players are natives of the Atlanta metropolitan
area: WR Malachi Carter (Lawrenceville), LB Shaka Heyward (Dacula), CB Mike
Hilton (Fayetteville), DE Myles Murphy (Marietta), DE Cam Sample (Snellville)
and DJ Turner II (Suwanee) … Falcons secondary coach Steve Jackson served
as the Bengals secondary/cornerbacks coach from 2020-21 … Bengals C Trey
Hill is a native of Warner Robins, Ga. who played for the Georgia Bulldogs
(2018-20) and was teammates with Falcons TE John FitzPatrick while in Athens
(’19-20) … Bengals WR Malachi Carter (2018-22) and OT Devin Cochran (’21)
both played at Georgia Tech … Falcons QB Desmond Ridder played at the
University of Cincinnati from 2018-21 … Falcons LS Liam McCullough is a native
of Columbus, Ohio and played at Ohio State from 2016-19 … Falcons DL Zach
Harrison is a native of Lewis Center, Ohio (near Columbus) and played for the
Buckeyes from 2019-22 … Falcons CB Jeff Okudah played for the Buckeyes
from 2017-19 and was teammates with Bengals DE Sam Hubbard (’17) and LB
Keandre Jones (’17-18) … Falcons DL Calais Campbell played for the
Jacksonville Jaguars during the 2017-18 seasons, when Bengals defensive line
coach Marion Hobby held the same title … Falcons head coach Arthur Smith
served as assistant tight ends coach for the Tennessee Titans during the 2014-
15 seasons, when Bengals defensive quality control coach Sigismondo Cioffi
was defensive backs coach … Bengals linebackers coach James Bettcher
coached Falcons OLB Lorenzo Carter and LB Tae Davis while serving as
defensive coordinator for the New York Giants (2018-19) … Bengals DE Trey

Hendrickson was teammates with Falcons LB Kaden Elliss (2019-20) and David
Onyemata (’17-20) while playing for the New Orleans Saints … Hendrickson also
played for Falcons defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen while he served as codefensive coordinator and defensive line coach for the Saints (2017-20) …
Nielsen also coached Bengals DT B.J. Hill at NC State (2013-16) while serving
as defensive line/recruiting coordinator/run game coordinator … Bengals C Ted
Karras played with Falcons RB Cordarrelle Patterson with the New England
Patriots in 2018 and TE Jonnu Smith in ’21 … Karras was also teammates with
Falcons WR Mack Hollins while playing for the Miami Dolphins (2020) … Bengals
CB Sidney Jones IV played with Falcons DL Albert Huggins while with the
Philadelphia Eagles (2019), and Bengals DT DJ Reader played with Huggins
while at Clemson (’15) … Bengals QB Trevor Siemian played with Falcons RB
Godwin Igwebuike at Northwestern (2014) … Bengals G Alex Cappa and TE
Tanner Hudson played with Igwebuike with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2018),
while WR Trent Taylor played with him with the San Francisco 49ers (’18) …
Bengals CB Cam Taylor-Britt and Falcons DL Carlos Davis were teammates at
Nebraska from 2018-19 … Bengals DE Joseph Ossai and Falcons DL Ta’Quon
Graham were teammates at Texas (2018-20) … Bengals WR Trenton Irwin
shared a position room with Falcons WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside at Stanford
(2015-18) and was also teammates with Falcons TE Tucker Fisk (’17-18) …
Bengals S Jordan Battle and LB Jaylen Moody were teammates with Falcons DB
DeMarcco Hellams at Alabama (2019-22) … Bengals LB Tyler Murray played
with Falcons DL Timmy Horne at UNC Charlotte (2020) … Bengals DT DJ
Reader played alongside Falcons DL Grady Jarrett at Clemson (2012-14) … Also
at Clemson, Bengals DE Myles Murphy played with Falcons LB Mike Jones Jr.
(2020) … Bengals RB Chris Evans played alongside Falcons OL Jalen Mayfield
at Michigan (2018-20) … Bengals assistant special teams coach Colt Anderson
was teammates with Falcons OL Jonotthan Harrison while playing safety with the
Indianapolis Colts in 2014.

Points scored …………………………………………..7th (26.1) T-15th (21.5)
Points allowed ………………………………………….6th (20.1) 23rd (22.7)
Total ……………………………………………………..8th (360.5) 24th (318.6)
Rushing …………………………………………………29th (95.5) 3rd (159.9)
Passing …………………………………………………5th (265.0) 31st (158.8)
Total ……………………………………………………16th (335.7) 27th (362.1)
Rushing …………………………………………………7th (106.6) 23rd (130.2)
Passing ……………………………………………… 23rd (229.1) 25th (231.9)
Differential ……………………………………………. 6th (plus-6) T-24th (minus-4)
Inside-20 possessions: 57 Inside-20 possessions: 50
Total scores: 48 (84.2%) Total scores: 44 (88.0%)
TDs: 37 (64.9%) TDs: 26 (52.0%)
FGs: 11 (19.3%) FGs: 18 (36.0%)
TD% rank: 5th TD% rank: T-9th
No scores: 9 (15.8%) No scores: 6 (12.0%)
Inside-20 possessions: 54 Inside-20 possessions: 60
Total scores: 47 (87.0%) Total scores: 52 (86.7%)
TDs: 30 (55.6%) TDs: 33 (55.0%)
FGs: 17 (31.5%) FGs: 19 (31.7%)
TD% rank: T-14th TD% rank: 14th
No scores: 7 (12.9%) No scores: 8 (13.3%)
Uniform watch: The Bengals are slated to wear white jerseys, black
pants (orange stripes) and white socks this week at Atlanta. Cincinnati is 4-3 in
regular-season play when wearing that combination, which was last featured in a
22-18 win at New England in Week 16 of the 2022 season.
The Bengals wore nine different uniform combinations last season, with four

different jerseys, three different pants and three different socks featured at least
once. Cincinnati unveiled new uniforms prior to the 2021 campaign, marking the
team’s first significant redesign since ’04.
The Bengals’ most frequent — and successful — look over the past two
seasons has been white jerseys, white pants (black stripes) and black socks.
Cincinnati is 8-2 overall when wearing that combination, including a 4-1 mark in
2022. The team has worn that combination in each of its four road contests over
the past two postseasons, collecting a 3-1 record.
Cincinnati also boasts a 3-0 record since 2021 when wearing its orange
jersey, which is the team’s designated alternate jersey. The Bengals last
season donned the orange once, in a 27-24 home win over Kansas City
in Week 13.
NFL rules allow teams to wear designated alternate jerseys and/or color rush
(CR) uniforms and/or throwback uniforms for a combined total of three regularseason games. In 2022, with the league’s approval for the use of alternate
helmets, Cincinnati introduced a new helmet branded as the “White Bengal,”
featuring a white base coat and the team’s iconic black stripes. The Bengals
wore the helmet twice last season, in a Week 4 home win over Miami and a
Week 11 road victory at Pittsburgh. The team announced the “White Bengal”
look will return for two games in 2023, both on Monday Night Football — Week 3
against the L.A. Rams and Week 13 at Jacksonville.
Here are the Bengals’ records in every possible uniform combination (regular
season plus postseason) since the team redesigned the uniform prior to the
2021 season:

Black Black (Orange) Black Orange ……………. 0-1-0 .000
Black Black (Orange) Orange Orange ……………. 3-1-0 .750
Black Black (Orange) White Orange ……………. 0-0-0 —
Black White (Black) Black Orange ……………. 1-1-0 .500
Black White (Black) Orange Orange ……………. 0-0-0 —
Black White (Black) White Orange ……………. 0-0-0 —
Black White (Orange) Black Orange ……………. 2-1-0 .667
Black White (Orange) Orange Orange ……………. 2-3-0 .400
Black White (Orange) White Orange ……………. 0-0-0 —
White Black (Orange) Black Orange ……………. 0-0-0 —
White Black (Orange) Orange Orange ……………. 0-1-0 .000
White Black (Orange) White Orange ……………. 4-3-0 .571
White White (Black) Black Orange ……………. 8-2-0 .800
White (CR)^ White (Black) Black White^ …………….. 2-0-0 1.000
White White (Black) Orange Orange ……………. 0-0-0 —
White White (Black) White Orange ……………. 1-0-0 1.000
White White (Orange) Black Orange ……………. 0-0-0 —
White White (Orange) Orange Orange ……………. 0-0-0 —
White White (Orange) White Orange ……………. 0-0-0 —
Orange* Black (Orange) Black Orange ……………. 0-0-0 —
Orange* Black (Orange) Orange Orange ……………. 3-0-0 1.000
Orange* Black (Orange) White Orange ……………. 0-0-0 —
Orange* White (Black) Black Orange ……………. 0-0-0 —
Orange* White (Black) Orange Orange ……………. 0-0-0 —
Orange* White (Black) White Orange ……………. 0-0-0 —
Orange* White (Orange) Black Orange ……………. 0-0-0 —
Orange* White (Orange) Orange Orange ……………. 1-0-0 1.000
Orange* White (Orange) White Orange ……………. 0-0-0 —
* — NFL rules allow teams to wear designated alternate and/or color rush (CR)
and/or throwback uniforms for a combined total of three regular-season games.
The Bengals’ designated alternate uniform includes an orange jersey with one of
the team’s primary pants. The Bengals do not have a throwback uniform.
^ — The league permitted teams to create alternate helmets for the 2022
season. However, teams were required to wear those alternate helmets only with
alternate, throwback or color rush uniforms that season. The Bengals donned
their new alternate white helmet in 2022 with their color rush jersey, which at the
time had not been worn since ’20, prior to the ’21 primary uniform redesign. In
2023, the Bengals are permitted to wear the alternate helmet with their primary
white jersey.
Bengals career records watch: As the 2023 campaign
approaches, here is a look at potential upcoming movement on the Bengals’
career records list (regular season):
● QB Joe Burrow has 1530 career passing attempts, 691 shy of QB Jeff
Blake for fifth place all-time. QBs Ken Anderson (4475), Andy Dalton (4449),
Boomer Esiason (3564) and Carson Palmer (3217) hold the top four spots on the
team’s career list.

● Burrow has 1044 completions, 196 shy of Blake for fifth place all-time.
Dalton (2757), Anderson (2654), Palmer (2024) and Esiason (2015) hold the top
four spots on the team’s career list.
● Burrow has 11,774 passing yards, 3360 shy of Blake for fifth place alltime. He also has 82 TD passes, 11 shy of Blake for fifth place all-time.
● Burrow additionally has 16 career games of 300 or more passing yards,
one shy of Palmer (17) for fourth place all-time. Dalton (28), Esiason (23) and
Anderson (19) hold the top three spots on the team’s career list.
● HB Joe Mixon has 1314 career rushing attempts, 30 shy of HB James
Brooks (1344) for fourth place all-time. Mixon in 2022 surpassed HB Cedric
Benson (1109).
● Mixon has 5378 rushing yards, 43 shy of FB Pete Johnson (5421) for
fourth place all-time and 364 shy of HB Rudi Johnson (5742) for third place alltime. HB Corey Dillon (8061) and Brooks (6447) hold the top two spots on the
team’s career list.
● Mixon has 40 rushing TDs, five shy of Dillon (45) for third place all-time
and eight shy of Rudi Johnson (48) for second place all-time. Pete Johnson (64)
is the team’s career record holder.
● Mixon has 14 games with 100 or more rushing yards, one shy of Benson
for fourth place all-time. Dillon (28), Rudi Johnson (19) and Brooks (17) hold the
top three spots on the team’s career list.
● WR Tyler Boyd has 446 career receptions, 61 shy of WR T.J.
Houshmandzadeh (507) for fourth place all-time. Boyd in 2022 surpassed WR
Cris Collinsworth (417).
● K Evan McPherson needs 13 FG attempts to reach 75 in his career,
which would qualify him for the Bengals’ all-time FG percentage record.
McPherson enters his third pro season with an 83.9 career percentage (52
made/62 att.). There are two qualifying former Bengals with higher career FG
percentages — Shayne Graham (86.76 percent; 177/202) and Randy Bullock
(84.91 percent; 90/106).


Zac Taylor (courtesy Bengals Communications)

Zac Taylor was named the 10th head coach in Bengals history on Feb.
4, 2019. The 2023 season is his fifth in the position.
In 2022, Taylor led Cincinnati to a second consecutive AFC North Division
title and a repeat appearance in the AFC Championship. The Bengals tied a
team record for regular-season wins (12) and consecutive wins (eight), and with
a pair of playoff victories in January, Taylor became one of just 13 head coaches
in NFL history with five wins in their first six career postseason games. He once
again oversaw a dynamic offense that ranked in the top 10 leaguewide in scoring
(seventh, 26.1 points per game), total yards (eighth, 360.5), and passing yards
(fifth, 265.0).
The Bengals also boasted a versatile defense that held opposing passers to
a league-low 58.9 completion percentage while also ranking sixth in points
allowed (20.1 per game) and seventh in rushing yards allowed (106.6).
In 2021, Taylor guided the Bengals to their first division championship since
’15, before winning three postseason games to claim the AFC crown and a berth
in Super Bowl LVI. QB Joe Burrow, playing in his first full season in Taylor’s
system, was named the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year after leading the
league in completion percentage (70.4), while first-round draft pick WR Ja’Marr
Chase totaled the most receiving yards by a rookie in the Super Bowl era (1455)
en route to Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.
In the postseason, Taylor led the Bengals to their first playoff win in 31
years, a home Wild Card victory over Las Vegas, before the team went on the
road to defeat the AFC’s top two seeds, Tennessee and Kansas City.
In 2020, Taylor helped the Bengals navigate the league’s COVID-19
pandemic protocols which included no in-person offseason program. Still, he
guided a rookie Burrow to notable production that included the most ever
completions by a QB through their first 10 games (264) and the fifth-most
passing yards (2688).
In 2019, his first season as head coach, Taylor led Cincinnati to second-half
turnarounds on both offense and defense. Offensively, the Bengals’ per-game
rushing average jumped 70.6 yards from the first half of the season (59.5) to the
second (130.1), while they allowed 10 fewer sacks (29 to 19). Defensively,
Cincinnati notched 11 more sacks in the second half of the season compared to
the first, and allowed 84.1 fewer yards per game.
Taylor came to Cincinnati after two seasons (2017-18) with the L.A. Rams,
where he served as assistant wide receivers coach in ’17 and quarterbacks
coach in ’18. In 2018, he helped guide QB Jared Goff to career highs in every
major passing category as the Rams won the NFC West and advanced to Super
Bowl LIII.
Taylor had a one-year stint at the University of Cincinnati in 2016, serving as
offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach under head coach Tommy
Taylor broke into NFL coaching in 2012 as assistant quarterbacks coach for
the Miami Dolphins. He was elevated to quarterbacks coach from 2013-15, and
spent the final five games of ’15 as interim offensive coordinator and primary
Taylor’s coaching career began at Texas A&M University, where he served
as offensive graduate assistant and tight ends coach under head coach Mike
Sherman from 2008-11. The Aggies played in three bowl games during Taylor’s
time in College Station.
As a player, Taylor began his college career at Wake Forest (2002-03)
before transferring to Butler County Community College in Kansas (’04) and then
playing his final two seasons (’05-06) at the University of Nebraska. He set
numerous program records, totaling 5850 passing yards and 45 TDs. He was
named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year as a senior in 2006 after passing

for 3197 yards and leading the Cornhuskers to a 9-3 record, an appearance in
the Big 12 Championship Game and a berth in the Cotton Bowl. He was inducted
into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 2017.
Taylor joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a college free agent in 2007,
but was waived prior to the start of training camp and never saw NFL action.
Later that year, he joined the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football
League, where he spent one season (did not play).
His father, Sherwood, was a defensive back and captain at the University of
Oklahoma, playing under Sooners head coach Barry Switzer from 1976-79.
Sherwood Taylor later served as an assistant coach at Oklahoma and Kansas
State University. Taylor’s younger brother, Press, played quarterback at Marshall
University and currently is the offensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Taylor was born in Norman, Okla., on May 10, 1983. After attending Norman
High School, he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from the
University of Nebraska in 2006. He and his wife, Sarah, have four children —
Brooks, Luke, Emma Claire and Milly. Sarah Taylor is the daughter of former
Green Bay Packers and Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman.

Arthur Smith with the Atlanta Falcons in January 2021. By Atlanta Falcons, CC BY 3.0, https

Arthur Smith was named was named the 18th head coach in Atlanta
Falcons history on Jan. 15, 2021.
In 2022, Atlanta finished with a 7-10 record, winning six games at MercedesBenz Stadium — the most since the stadium opened in 2017. Under Smith’s
guidance, the Falcons led the NFL in fewest penalties, finished third in the
league in rushing yards per game and 10th in third-down conversion rate.
Atlanta also had the third-highest successful play rate on rushing attempts
in 2022, based on EPA, at 45.1 percent. Atlanta’s rushing attack averaged
74.5 more rushing yards per game than it did in 2021, resulting in the largest
one-season improvement by any team since at least ’01. With Cordarrelle
Patterson (340), Tyler Allgeier (324), Marcus Mariota (280) and Caleb Huntley
(265), the Falcons became the first team to have four players with at least 250
rushing yards through the first eight games of a season in NFL history.
Additionally, Allgeier surpassed William Andrews (1023 in 1979) for the most
rushing yards by a rookie in franchise history and became the sixth rookie
selected in the fifth round or later to eclipse 1000 rushing yards over the past
20 seasons.
Prior to joining the Falcons, Smith served 10 seasons on the coaching staff
of the Tennessee Titans, most recently as offensive coordinator (2019-20). His
first NFL position was as defensive quality control coach with Washington from
Smith played offensive line at North Carolina and later joined the Tar Heels
coaching staff as a graduate assistant (2006), working with the offensive line. He
also spent the 2010 season on the football staff at Mississippi. He has no pro
playing experience.
Born and raised in Memphis, Tenn., Smith went to high school at
Georgetown Prep in North Bethesda, Md.
Taylor vs. Falcons: Taylor leads 1-0 in regular season. The only
scheduled Bengals-Falcons preseason game during Taylor’s tenure was
canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic (that game originally was
scheduled for Aug. 28 that year).
Taylor vs. Smith: Taylor leads 1-0 in regular season, thanks to a 35-
17 win at Paycor Stadium last season.
Smith vs. Bengals: Bengals lead 1-0.



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