NFL Preseason Pick – Week 2
Cincinnati came away with a 17-6 victory over the New York Jets as a one-point home favorite on Friday night in its first preseason game of the year, but the win proved to be costly. Four different starters went down with injuries in a span of about 20 minutes with three players going down with knee injuries in the first five minutes of the game. The most serious loss appears to be guard Travelle Wharton, who had to be carted off the field.
Look for the Bengals to take a more cautious approach to this game with anyone who is already nicked-up. They will probably play their starters for most of the first half, but considering they already know what they have on offense in quarterback Andy Dalton, back-up Bruce Gradkowski might see action as early as the second quarter.
Last Thursday night’s game against Baltimore started on a positive note for Atlanta with a seven-yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan to Julio Jones a little over four minutes into the first quarter. Jones ended the night with six receptions for 109 yards which is pretty incredible considering how long he actually played in this game. The Falcons went on to build a 17-7 lead at the half, but ended-up on the wrong end of a 31-17 score as one-point home favorites. The total went ‘over’ the 34-point line.
Atlanta has to be pleased with the overall effort despite the final score considering it outplayed the Ravens when it mattered the most. Its approach to this game should remain pretty much the same with the starters playing most of the first half. However, much like Cincinnati, the overall goal is to come away from this game injury-free.
Atlanta moved the ball with ease against the Ravens’ first-team defense and will be tested again on Thursday night by the Bengals. Look for the Falcons’ back-ups to hold onto a lead this time around to notch the victory at home. Atlanta 23 Cincinnati 17