Not much went right for the Cincinnati Bengals' first-team offense and defense in Thursday's 27-13 loss against Green Bay, but there were individual winners and losers in the eyes of coaches. 


1. Marvin JonesAll the fifth-round pick out of Cal does is keep making plays. In each of the first two games, he hauled in a reception of more than 40 yards. He added a touchdown to his resume Thursday. Toss in a nifty 18-yard punt return and you have the breakout star of the preseason. In what was a crowded room when camp began, Jones rose to the top. He leads the Bengals in preseason receiving (five receptions, 111 yards, 1 TD and no other receiver has more than 62 yards). He's likely overtaken Mohamed Sanu for the coveted final spot on the 45-man active roster as part of the rotation with Armon Binns and Brandon Tate at the No. 2 WR spot. 

2. Taylor Mays. Despite Aaron Rodgers throwing for 154 yards, the Bengals' coverage against the pass wasn't bad. Mays did a nice job covering the Packers' tight ends and containing short passes with solid tackles. He laid a vicious hit on Green Bay WR Tom Crabtree that was ruled a helmet-to-helmet hit, but appeared to be shoulder to shoulder on the replay. It's the latest hammering hit he's laid on opponents as he makes the middle a scary place to cross for receivers. With backup Jeromy Miles playing well behind him, his positive contributions have been necessary to hold his spot as the starter. 

"Taylor (Mays) is learning," coach Marvin Lewis said. "He’s doing good things physically. He is a good physical presence back there."


1. Running game. The running game continues to be a disaster in the preseason. Bengals running backs have 67 carries for 142 yards. That's 2.1 yards per rush. It was ineffective again Thursday as Andy Dalton was the leading rusher. The backs rushed 14 times for 32 yards and now questions arise to if this is a product of knocking off the rust or a personnel issue. The Bengals could use Bernard Scott (hand) and BenJarvus Green-Ellis (foot), who both missed the last two weeks, but they won't solve everything. It was the first concern out of Marvin Lewis' mouth in the postgame press conference and likely will be addressed in the coming weeks. 

2. Dalton. 
No, in the grand scheme of this season, nobody will remember Dalton was 5 of 17 for 40 yards and missed multiple big plays in the passing game. Nobody will be talking about demoting Dalton for Bruce Gradkowski because he endured an offnight. Yet, to ignore his poor performance would be wrong. Of his seven drives Thursday, four were three-and-out and zero ended in touchdowns. Dalton needs to be more consistent if he plans to take the next step. Sure, he's playing outside his comfort zone and taking a few more shots downfield than he would during the regular season, but he could use an efficient drive or two against Indianapolis to return to the right track come Sept. 10 in Baltimore. 

Follow Paul Dehner Jr. for Bengals updates on Twitter at @CBSSportsNFLCIN.