Bengals third preseason game won't serve as the traditional dress rehearsal game.
Marvin Lewis said he expects starters to play into the middle of the second quarter. That should provide three to four series of telling matchups against one of the premier teams in football.
Here are three matchups to keep a close eye on Thursday night:
• QB Aaron Rodgers vs. S Taylor MaysReggie Nelson. If Rodgers moves Mays around and takes advantage of poor technique or instincts it could expose Mays and open the door for rising backup Jeromy Miles to swoop in and steal the job.
• RB Cedric Benson vs. Bengals rush defense -- Benson jokingly said this week he looks forward to “putting a licking” on his former team. Benson and Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis took the high road this week in playing nice about the two parting ways. There may not be bad blood anymore, but make no mistake, this was no amicable breakup. Benson spent much of his final two seasons complaining about carries and frustrating his offensive coordinators. Benson would love to leave a lasting impression on the franchise.
• Green Bay wide receivers vs. CB Terence NewmanAtlanta's duo of wideouts last week, committing two pass interference penalties and being part of a unit that allowed Matt Ryan to complete 18 of 21 passes. DC Mike Zimmer discarded criticism of the secondary and Newman, who he's been high on since arriving from the Cowboys. Another week of penalties and completions could bring second-guesses of a player who will be 34 on opening day.