Even though this is a Packer site and we all tend to be rabid Packer fans, this game can be a time where we broaden our horizon for a moment. One of the nice things about the preseason is that it offers an opportunity to watch an opposing team with a more objective eye and less emotional attachment to what is happening in the game. This allows the NFL fan to appreciate the talent in what may be a more meaningful way than what occurs during the regular season. It also gives Packer fans a chance to see a team that is not regularly seen playing the Packers, specifically the Bengals. You know, being in the AFC North and all we only see them once in a blue moon.
I'm going to try and dig deep for all you APC readers and find five players to watch for besides big name guys like Andy Dalton and A.J. Green. Yes, they are very good and will be fun to watch, but you can mindlessly watch ESPN and get plenty on those two guys. Here are five Bengals i'm watching for tonight, and why they are an interesting story for the game......
1. Kevin Zeitler - Maybe it's the Wisconsin Badger fan in me, but I would love to see what Zeitler can do on the NFL stage. He's a guy who was able to creep up draft boards at the end of the draft process and even made it ahead of Peter Konz (who many thought would be a better prospect).
2. Devon Still - Still is interesting because of his close draft connection to Jerel Worthy. Still and Worthy seemed to be neck and neck on many draft boards this past year. They also ended up being drafted close together (Worthy going at 51 and Still going at 53). Interesting to see which one can turn in the better performance on Thursday.
3. Rey Maualuga - Similar to the Still/Worthy pairing, Maualuga is an interesting pairing with his former USC teammate Clay Matthews. While Matthews has come into his own and followed a path to super-stardom Maualuga has struggled a bit. Can he turn in a good game and start to create a reputation similar to Matthews?
4. Taylor Mays - Mays was a high round pick for the 49ers, but failed to produce. He left that highly touted defense and went to the Bengals, where apparently he has grown quite a bit. Sometimes players need a change of scenery in order to come into their own....say for example Charles Woodson. Mays may just be a similar case. At the very least it should be interesting to see if he injurers another one of his teammates in this game.
5. Mohamed Sanu - Dude was punk'd on draft day. I mean come on, when is the next time we are gong to see a guy get a prank phone call that he is being drafted by a team....have to sit and wait a day or so with that awful "gotcha" moment....and then actually be drafted by the same team the prankster claimed to represent? That alone is enough to get me to root for the guy. Great story.
Related stories ahead of Packers vs. Bengals
Packers vs. Bengals: TV, radio and streaming information | Winners and losers from Week 2 vs. Browns | Thursday morning links | Nickel safety battle | Bubble watch: PUP Players | Five backups to watch | Five starters to watch | Packers injuries | Observations from last practice
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