Cincinnati (1-0) at Tampa Bay (0-1)
When: Monday, August 24th, 2015
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Time: 8:00 ET
TV: ESPN Radio: XM 88, 225
The second week of the NFL preseason ends tonight with the only Monday Night exhibition game before the regular season starts. The Bengals are coming off an impressive 23-10 win over the New York Giants last week. I know one week is not enough data to gauge how teams rank statistically, but it’s fun anyway. Cincinnati after Week 1 is 2nd in total offense and 4th in total defense. They gained 432 yards last week including a league best 225 on the ground. They also had 29 first downs. About the only negative in their win over the Giants is that they were only 3-12 on 3rd down. Tonight, the defense will look to rattle rookie QB Jameis Winston.
Speaking of Winston, he struggled in his first career start last week in Minnesota going 9-19 for 131 yards and an interception. He’ll look to improve on that outing tonight as will the Bucs defense. In last week’s 26-16 loss at Minnesota, the Bucs allowed 388 yards of total offense including 284 in the air. One positive that came out of their game were the penalties. In a preseason in which I’ve seen a lot of flags fly, the Bucs only committed 4 penalties for 19 yards.
It’s hard to predict preseason games, but based on how these teams played last week, I’ll have to take the points in this one and roll with Cincinnati.
Pick: Bengals +2.5