Cincinnati Bengals: Sanzenbacher Makes Early Bid for Roster Spot

DaneRome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a professional football team on the results of one exhibition football game. But for the Cincinnati Bengals and their high expectations for the upcoming season, last night’s 34-10 win over the Atlanta Falcons seemed to be a nice start on the building of a successful foundation.

In the win, which was the largest margin of victory ever for the Bengals in a preseason opener, there were a number of bright spots. The defense looked stellar, stuffing the run and allowing just 268 yards total in the game. The offense put up 419 total yards, 224 on the ground, and rookie Giovani Bernard found the end zone for the first time in stripes. Backup quarterback Josh Johnson shone, going 9-16 for 100 yards and a touchdown in addition to showing his ability to scramble with a pair of long gains.

“I thought Johnson played with poise and we know he can make plays with his legs,” said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. “But a quarterback in this league makes his living throwing the ball.”

An already crowded wide receiver position became a little more congested last night with the performance of Dane Sanzenbacher. With both A.J. Green, Andrew Hawkins, and Marvin Jones sidelined with injuries, the 5’11 Sanzenbacher — a fourth year pro from Ohio State — took full advantage of his opportunity. Waived by the Bears in 2012, the shifty wideout put on a show in Atlanta that impressed his coaches and the ESPN crew, who used the pronunciation of his last name to entertain their listeners.

The first-team offense struggled with penalties, but after those problems were eliminated, the group looked sharp and Sanzenbacher was a big part of the Bengals putting 34 points on the board, accounting for the team’s final two scores. Late in the third quarter, Sanzenbacher fielded a punt at his own 29-yard line got a key block from teammate J.K. Shaffer, and went nearly untouched down the sideline for the touchdown that put the Bengals up 27-10.

For good measure, the Ohio State product snagged a pretty 36-yard bullet down the seam and between two defenders from quarterback John Skelton in the fourth quarter for the final touchdown of the night for the Bengals. Sanzenbacher finished with two receptions for a team high 59 yards.

“It was nice to take advantage of an opportunity,” said Sanzenbacher. “It’s just the first preseason game so it’s nothing to get too excited about but it was a nice start.”


  1. mattcbcpastor says

    The team will win a lot of games this year with defense!