In his TML post, Doc briefly touches on the NFL preseason. After correctly noting that paying full price for preseason game viewing is not worth the value to fans, Doc also adds that as far as gaining insight into how the regular season might go, the preseason really doesn't matter outside of the first part of the third game.
This point is often lost and I would even go farther than Doc does and say all of the games can matter, it just depends on who is playing in them (starters or backups). You often hear that the preseason is meaningless and has no predictive power of the regular season. It's easy to see why people think this when teams like the Lions last year go undefeated in the preseason and then lose every single regular season game.
That is because the win-loss record should not be the focus. The focus should be on how the starting lineups do when they are on the field. You can gain plenty of insight from that. You could certainly tell the Bengals would struggle on offense based on how miserably the offensive line performed last year.
So, no, the preseason is not meaningless. You just have to pay attention to when the first team goes at it. For a big question mark, like our offense, I bet you can learn a lot this entire preseason. So pay attention.
Hard Knocks. Awesome.