As expected Brandon Allen took Sunday's first snap against the Giants, making him the Bengals' fifth different starting quarterback in the last 14 Paul Brown Stadium games.
But he didn't get on the field until the middle of the first quarter and that's because safety Brandon Wilson popped the longest play in Bengals history, a 103-yard kick return that tied the game at seven with just under ten minutes left in the first quarter.
Allen, 28, a fourth-year player who met only virtually with his fellow coaches and quarterbacks since he signed Aug. 1, went up close and personal Sunday as he tried to join Andy Dalton and AJ McCarron as the last two Bengals quarterbacks to win their debuts. Allen did win his first NFL start last season when he led the Broncos over the Browns and brought a 1-2 record into his fourth pro start.
Allen got the nod, in large part, for his knowledge of Taylor's system. They worked together for two years with the Rams before Allen made those three starts last year in a similar system in Denver. Taylor's faith appeared to be validated in Wednesday's practice, where he completed 25 of 25 passes, according to the Fox Sports broadcast.
In the huddle with him was Quinton Spain, moving to left guard against the Giants after he started at right tackle two weeks ago and right guard last week. On the fourth straight different starting offensive line, Spain replaced Michael Jordan after a rough day in Washington last week Jordan allowed five quarterback hits with one of them ending the season of rookie quarterback Joe Burrow.
According to Elias, the last Bengals offensive lineman to start three straight games at three different positions is center Trey Hopkins in 2018 when he started at center and both guard spots.
Right tackle Bobby Hart returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Oct. 25, when he missed the last snaps of the Cleveland game with a knee injury, and got a start against the team that drafted him in the 2015 seventh round and where he earned his first 21 NFL starts.