CINCINNATI — A reasonable entertaining preseason opener took place after the main event Friday night at Paycor Stadium. But, oh, the quarterback spot without Joe Burrow.
Joe Burrow worked out for about 20 minutes before the Packers went out and recorded a 36-19 win over the Bengals before 64,243 on a hot, steamy night.
The Bengals rested 23 players from the 87 who were eligible to play. The only projected starter in the two 11-player units was safety Dax Hill.
Jordan Love played a pair of series for the Packers at quarterback, completing 7-of-10 passses for 46 yards and a touchdown. Then the pride of Cincinnati St. Xavier, Sean Clifford, got his run before the hometown crowd, completing 20-of-26 passes for 208 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.
Packers running back Emanuel Wilson tore apart the Bengals second half defense for 111 yards on six carries and two touchdowns, including an 80-yarder that sealed the game for Green Bay.
Evan McPherson was 4-for-4 on field goals and nailed his only PAT following a Tycen Anderson pick-6.
Continuing a trend in camp, the quarterback play left something to be desired as Jake Browning played the first half and Trevor Siemian took second half reps. Neither QB could find the end zone, despite individual effort and explosive plays.
Browning was 10-for-17 for 95 yards and an interception in the first half. Siemian nearly mirrored that mark in the second half, going 15-of-28 for 121 yards and an interception.
Rookie receiver Andrei Iosivas made a sensational catch in the end zone late in the third quarter but couldn’t bring his second foot down inbounds on a 25-yard fade from Siemian. He also had a terrific block on a pass to Kwamie Lassiter II, good for 10 yards. He finished with four catches on 10 targets for 50 yards, including a 24-yarder on a sideline route.
The starting offensive line featured Jackson Carman at right tackle, Max Scharping at right guard, Trey Hill at center, Cody Ford left guard and D’Ante Smith at left tackle.
Trenton Irwin continued his strong camp with a 32-yard grab from Jake Browning on a crossing route, leading to Cincinnati’s first points, an Evan McPherson 38-yard boot.
Chris Evans flashed with a 33-yard run off right guard behind Cody Ford and D’Ante Smith. Cincinnati’s other back in competition Chase Brown had a 22-yard gain after a simple dump off from Trevor Siemian that put the Bengals in the red zone.
Sidney Jones IV had a rough first quarter. He was beaten in the end zone when he couldn’t locate a Jordan Love pass to receiver Romeo Doubs in the back of the end zone.
Myles Murphy showed some push on the outside but didn’t get to the quarterback while Jay Tufele had arguably the best day of the night for the defensive line.
Another player who struggled was second-year player Jeff Gunter, who committed a pair of penalties in the first that, one that led to a Green Bay touchdown.
Tycen Anderson, like Joseph Ossai in 2021, returned after a shortened preseason in 2022. Anderson made the most of his opportunity, picking off a Sean Clifford pass by jumping a route in front of Dontayvion Wicks and returning it 43 yards for a pick-6.
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) August 12, 2023
DJ Turner II had a terrific pass breakup on fourth down as the Packers were driving late in the second quarter leading to Evan McPherson’s third field goal, a 39-yarder. That field goal gave Cincinnati its first lead of the game, 16-14.
Good coverage game for both Bengals punt and kick teams until they gave up a 44-yard return by Samori Toure to the Bengals 47. In a hold-your-breath moment, Evan McPherson knocked Toure out of bounds with his left shoulder.
Joe Bachie (chest), Yusef Corker (left hamstring) and Tanner Hudson (concussion) all sustained injuries and did not return.