When the Ravens take on the Bengals in Cincinnati Nov. 10, there will be a new quarterback under center for the Bengals.
With Cincinnati 0-8, first-year head coach Zac Taylor decided to bench quarterback Andy Dalton in favor of rookie Ryan Finley out of NC State. Rocky Boiman, a host for WLW 700 in Cincinnati and a former NFL linebacker, is excited to see Finley get his shot. Boiman, also a college football analyst for ESPN, liked what he saw out of Finley at NC State.
Finley began his career at Boise State (2013-2015) before transferring to NC State (2016-2018).
“First of all, he played six years of college football because of injuries and other things. If nothing else, he has a lot of experience,” Boiman said on Glenn Clark Radio Nov. 7. “… I know a lot of fans are excited. I’m excited to watch him because I thought he was a really really good player, a smart player. We’ll just see here in Week 1 versus a very, very good team how much of that is able to transfer to the pro game here this week.”
The Bengals have certainly struggled this year. Star receiver A.J. Green hasn’t played a snap all year. Running back Joe Mixon has rushed for 320 yards and no touchdowns. The offensive line has also been plagued by injuries, most notably losing 2019 first-round offensive tackle Jonah Williams (Alabama) for the entire season. The defense has generated just six takeaways.
Despite the 0-8 start, Boiman wasn’t necessarily surprised they didn’t make any moves ahead of the Oct. 29 trade deadline.
“It’s been my understanding that the front office of the Bengals tend to overvalue their players,” Boiman said. “…It’s the constant — it happens every year — frustration with the front office here in Cincinnati. It’s not going to change anytime soon; it’s a family-run business. I think it’s just one of those things that just makes fans scratch their heads.”
Boiman, who played in the NFL from 2002-2009, is surprised by what quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Ravens are able to accomplish on offense this year. The Ravens rank No. 1 in the NFL in points per game (31.4), No. 2 in the NFL in total yards per game (427.0) and No. 1 in the NFL in rushing yards per game (204.9). Boiman offered his perspective on playing against a run-heavy team like this.
“If you’re out there thinking versus [Jackson], he’s going to kill you,” Boiman said. “You’ve got to be playing instinctively. What the scheme is and the big bodies they have offensively … it makes it tough to really do your job out there, so good luck to the Bengals. It’s going to be tough.”
Boiman thinks the Bengals, with nothing to lose, are going to give it everything they have against the Ravens.
“It has been a tough year for injuries and things like that, but I would expect to see a team that will come out and go for it on fourth down,” Boiman said. “I don’t know about fake punts or that sort of thing, but I think this team will come in with some degree of, ‘What do we have to lose here, so let’s go out here and try to light up the scoreboard a little bit and try to get this win.'”
To hear more from Boiman, listen to the full interview here: