Cincinnati Bengals Grades Against The Green Bay Packers

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

We grade the Bengals performance against the Green Bay Packers by position.

Quarterback

Two turnovers against the Packers, including a very bad interception to Sam Shields during A.J. Green's comeback route in the first quarter were the biggest blemishes on Dalton's resume on Sunday. However, like the rest of Cincinnati's offensive woes in the first half, everything began to stabilize in the second half. Dalton ended up completing 13 of 16 passes in the final two periods for 168 yards and a passer rating of 150. Most importantly, Dalton's two second half touchdowns reduced Green Bay's lead from 16 points to three. And they were beautiful anticipation throws.

Grade: A-

Running Back

Giovani Bernard and BenJarvus Green-Ellis combined for 82 yards rushing on 24 carries, averaging 3.4 yards per rush. Each scored a touchdown in the opening six minutes of the game and Bernard added 49 yards receiving (second on the team) on four receptions. Eventually the running game was disregarded (seven runs in the second half) when the Bengals were facing a 16-point third quarter deficit. If not for Green-Ellis' second quarter fumble, this unit scores an A.

Grade: B

Wide Receivers

Maybe their best game of the season since A.J. Green's 163 yards in Chicago, the Bengals receivers scored two touchdowns in the second half to help reduce Cincinnati's deficit. A.J. Green, Mohamed Sanu, and Marvin Jones also combined for 11 receptions and 152 yards receiving.

Grade: B+

Tight End

After combining for 132 yards receiving on nine receptions against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert had their worst combined outing of the season. Along with a Jermaine Gresham fumble, the Bengals tight end duo only posted 34 yards receiving on five grabs.

Grade: D+

Offensive Line

It was a struggle early for Cincinnati's offensive line, allowing only a mediocre 3.4 yard/rush average on the ground while Andy Dalton was sacked four times for 20 yards lost -- one of which led to a fumble and a Mason Crosby 19-yard field goal.

Grade: C+

Defensive Line

The superstars of Sunday's win over the Green Bay Packers. All four of the team's sacks came from the defensive line, which also accounted for eight additional hits on the quarterback, four tackles for loss, three passes defensed and a forced fumble that led to Cincinnati's game-winning touchdown.

However, the defensive line was part of a unit that allowed 182 yards rushing to the Packers, including a ton of available cut-back lanes for Johnathan Franklin and his 103 yards rushing. But the performance against the pass was a huge reason why Aaron Rodgers and the Packers passing offense was largely neutralized.

Grade: A

Linebackers

Vontaze Burfict and Rey Maualuga led the team with 11 and eight tackles respectively. Cincinnati played a majority of the game in nickel defense and both allowed a completion percentage over 60 percent with over 50 yards receiving (combined). Additionally, Burfict and Maualuga were part of a defensive unit that allowed 182 yards rushing and a 6.1 yard/rush average to the Packers rushing offense.

Grade: B-

Secondary

Good performance for a unit that's struggling to stay healthy (Leon Hall left with a hamstring). Many of the defensive line's successes against the pass were the result of awesome coverage by Cincinnati's secondary. Leon Hall and Terence Newman virtually saved Cincinnati with two second half interceptions and a fumble return for a touchdown that gave Cincinnati the win.

Grade: A

Special Teams

Kevin Huber only averaged 43.7 yards per punt and the Bengals return game remains average, at best. Brandon Tate fair caught one punt and averaged 27.8 yards per kickoff return (which is respectable). Mike Nugent pushed a 52-yard attempt wide left in the second half. However, it was Taylor Mays' fumble recovery that set the stage for Cincinnati's second touchdown, which gave Cincinnati a 14-point lead within the first six minutes of the game. Then there's the whole blocked extra point late in the game.

Grade: C-

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