Atlanta coach Mike Smith made it clear that he was not happy with the Falcons’ performance in a 31-14 Week 1 loss to Baltimore. He’s suggested players pick up the intensity on Thursday night (8:00pm ET) against the Bengals.
The Bengals won their preseason opener against the Jets, but have significant issues in the secondary.
The Bengals are 19-18-1 ATS in the preseason under Marvin Lewis. The Falcons are 7-8-2 ATS in the preseason under Smith.
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The Line: The Falcons opened as 3.5-point home favorites, but have been up to as high as 4.5 points at some shops.
The total, which opened at 37, has reached the key number of 38.
Falcons: Chris Redman will replace starter Matt Ryan and is expected to get a few more series than he did in Atlanta’s blowout loss to the Ravens in their preseason opener. John Parker Wilson and impressive rookie Dominique Davis will split the remaining snaps.
Bengals: Starter Andy Dalton and the first unit played three series in the preseason opener against the Jets. He’s said he’d like to get the offense in rhythm tonight before being replaced by Bruce Gradkowski. Zac Robinson and Tyler Hansen are the third-team and fourth-team QBs.
Notes: Veteran LB Mike Peterson will start in place of Akeem Dent (concussion) for the Falcons … The Falcons beat the Bengals 39-32 in a shootout in the Georgia Dome in October … The Bengals’ secondary is banged up with four of the 11 corners on the rosters expected to miss tonight’s game … Bengal starting LB Rey Maualuga will not play, and CB Adam Jones did not practice Tuesday although has indicated he could play.