The Cincinnati Bengals and Detroit Lions open their 2011 preseason campaigns with a Friday night contest at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. The Bengals are in a transition period with the apparent retirement of Carson Palmer and the departure of Chad Ocho Cinco. The Lions have slowly made their way back from their 0-16 2008 season and will look to continue building back into a playoff contender.
The Bengals face significant turnover in 2011, starting with the additions of WR A.J. Green and QB Andy Dalton. While the Bengals did add Bruce Gradkowski, Andy Dalton sits at the top of the depth chart meaning the Bengals are prepared for the rookie to take his lumps. The question will be whether the Bengals stick with Dalton if he struggles in the preseason, or if Gradkowski can work his way into the starting lineup. While Gradkowski isn't a superstar, he can often do enough to keep his team competitive. He is less of an unknown, so we'll see how much patience the Bengals show.
The Lions have slowly improved themselves each season and will look to build on last season's 6-10 campaign. They had added a pair of weapons for Matthew Stafford in the form of WR Titus Young and Mikel LeShoure. Unfortunately LeShoure tore his Achilles and is out for the season. Young will spend the preseason battling for any playing time behind Calvin Johnson. While the Lions do have Nate Burleson and added Rashied Davis, I have to think they'd love to see Titus Young force their hand during the preseason. They'll also spend the preseason looking to see if Nick Fairley can add another dominant piece next to Ndamukong Suh.
Game Date/Time: Friday, August 12; 7:30pm ET
Location: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
Bengals: WKRC Local 12
TV Distribution Map: The506.com
Bengals: ESPN 1530 (WCKY-AM), WEBN-FM (102.7)
Lions: WXYT 97.1 The Ticket, WXYT 1270 AM