Atlanta, GA – The first preseason game for the Bengals and Falcons proved to be a showcase for the backups, as Josh Johnson and Dane Sanzenbacher led Cincinnati to a 34-10 win over the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome.
Neither first-team offense recorded a touchdown, though Atlanta's moved the ball somewhat more effectively.
Matt Ryan, tasked with justifying a hefty contract extension after bringing the Falcons within a game of the Super Bowl last season, led Atlanta to a field goal on the game's opening drive and finished with 89 yards on 6-of-9 passing.
Steven Jackson, who ran for 1,000-plus yards in eight consecutive seasons with the Rams, carried the ball five times for eight yards in his first game in a Falcons uniform after leaving St. Louis via free agency.
The Bengals' projected starters also struggled, but they are still expected to be playoff contenders again after bowing out in the AFC Wild Card round the last two seasons.
Andy Dalton completed 3-of-7 passes for 37 yards, while Johnson did a little bit of everything as he threw for 100 yards and a touchdown and added 64 yards on the ground.
Johnson led Cincinnati to 17 points in the second quarter, first hitting Brandon Tate in traffic for a 21-yard touchdown, then guiding the club on a two-minute drill that led to Giovani Bernard's 1-yard plunge for a 17-3 Bengals lead at halftime.
Dominique Davis got the Falcons in the end zone early in the third quarter when he and Jason Snelling hooked up for an 8-yard TD.
Sanzenbacher sealed the outcome from there with a 71-yard punt return for a score and a 36-yard TD grab from John Skelton.