Bengals vs. Jets Grades

John Grieshop

Grading out the Bengals performance against the Jets, breaking it down position by position.

Quarterback: Andy Dalton posted a career-best five touchdowns and added 325 yards passing against the second-ranked New York Jets defense. In his past three games, Dalton has completed 66 percent of his passes for 1,034 yards, 11 touchdowns, two picks and a passer rating of 126.0. There was one blemish on Dalton's performance when he tried to complete a running back screen through a microscopic window that was tipped and intercepted by a defensive lineman. Other than that, we're talking perfection and his best performance in his very young career.

Grade: A

Running Back: Cincinnati's game-plan obviously didn't feature much of a running game as Jay Gruden elected to attack New York's weakness rather than trying to challenge the Jets' strengths. Giovani Bernard and BenJarvus Green-Ellis combined for 51 yards rushing on 16 carries (3.2 yard/rush). However, when the Bengals attempted to run power against the Jets defense, they failed. Earlier in the game, Green-Ellis was stuffed twice at the line of scrimmage during New York's goalline stand. The saving grace for this unit was the pass blocking, which was excellent.

Grade: C+

Wide Receivers: Just, wow. A.J. Green and Marvin Jones combined for 11 receptions, 237 yards receiving and four touchdowns -- all to Marvin Jones, who snagged all eight passes that he was targeted. Mohamed Sanu only had one reception, but it was a 24-yarder that put Cincinnati back at midfield during their second possession of the game. Sanu would later leave with a shoulder injury, sitting throughout the second half.

Grade: A

Tight End: Jermaine Gresham only caught two passes against the Jets, but they were extremely productive. His first was a ten-yard grab that converted a third and eight on Cincinnati's first possession of the game. His second was a touchdown reception, sneaking into his route and patrolling the back of the endzone while two defenders focused on Tyler Eifert, who added two catches for 23 yards. Cincinnati did try to get Eifert a score during the Jets goalline stand, but were unable to connect. Gresham and Eifert combined for four receptions for 37 yards and a touchdown.

Grade: B

Offensive Line: Not much to praise about the team's run blocking, highlighted by two failed power runs during the goalline situation early in the game; as we pointed out earlier, it just wasn't that big of a focus. However, Andy Dalton was virtually untouched in the pocket, sacked once (during a scramble so it's only a technicality), and hit one other time. It was arguably the offensive line's best performance in regards to pass protection this year.

Grade: B+

Defensive Line: With the Bengals taking such a quick lead (and keeping their collective foot on the throttle), the defensive line was never tested with the Jets rushing offense -- New York's leading rusher was backup quarterback Matt Simms. Most of the game featured Cincinnati's ears being pinned back in a pass rushing effort and they were effective with a quarterback sack (Brandon Thompson), three additional hits, and nine quarterback hurries.

Grade: B

Linebackers: Vontaze Burfict led the team with 11 tackles, but we're used to that. He added a pass defensed and tackle for loss. James Harrison recorded a quarterback sack and finished third on the team with six tackles. Rey Maualuga left the game early with injury and Michael Boley came into the game and finished tied for fifth with five tackles.

Grade: B

Secondary: Two interceptions returned for a touchdown and five passes defensed. Are you serious?

Grade: A

Special Teams: Mike Nugent posted a season-high seven points, and he did that without converting a field goal. After multiple weeks with clutch Kevin Huber punts, Cincinnati's punter didn't make his first appearance until the 11:40 mark in the third quarter when Cincinnati had already established a 29-point lead. That being said, Huber punted three times for 53, 58, and 50 yards. Brandon Tate also recorded a season-high 133 yards on kickoff return, including a 71-yarder with a minute remaining in the first half -- eventually leading to Marvin Jones' third touchdown and the Bengals securing a 28-6 half-time lead.

Grade: B+

Coaching: Great game-plan from everyone. Gruden decided to avoid the Jets strengths and significantly attacked their weakness in coverage. Mike Zimmer relentlessly attacked rookie Geno Smith with a variety of blitzes, which kept the quarterback completely off balanced.

Grade: A

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