The Cincinnati Bengals were finally able to get a win this preseason. It came against the Arizona Cardinals with a score of 19-13 on Sunday. For the first time this preseason, the starters and backups played well for all four quarters, something they'd yet to do in their previous two preseason losses.
After the starters jumped out to a 13-3 lead, Arizona rallied to tie the game, but the Bengals backups outscored Arizona 6-0 in the fourth quarter to get the win. The starters were able to take command on the strength of their pass rush, highlighted by defensive end Wallace Gilberry.
Pro Football Focus has released their game grades for this contest, and Gilberry's performance was the best of any Bengal.
Wallace Gilberry, DE, +1.7
Breakdown: Still keeping Margus Hunt out of the starting lineup at defensive end, Gilberry had his most productive game of the preseason registering three pressures (one hit, two hurries) and disrupting Jared Veldheer once more early on in the game. All three of Gilberry’s pressures came in a three-minute spell at the end of the first quarter against three different offensive linemen.
Signature Play: The last of those pressures (Q1 00:43) saw the Bengals off the field on third down as Gilberry drove through a hold by Veldheer to grab Carson Palmer’s jersey as he threw to force an errant pass.
Here's that play:
As for the Bengal who disappointed most, Margus Hunt failed to impress after a lights-out first two weeks of the preseason.
Margus Hunt, DE, -2.2
Breakdown: A productive night for the man keeping Hunt out of the starting lineup was paired with Hunt’s most ineffective performance of the preseason. After notching seven pressures (1 Sk, 6 Hu) in the opening three games, Hunt was blanked as a pass rusher but registered a tackle for loss later in the third quarter in the run game.
Signature Stat: Despite the quiet night Hunt is still sits as our fourth-highest-graded DRE in preseason with a +5.6 overall grade on 88 snaps.
Also of note, guard Kevin Zeitler's 2.3 grade was the highest of any Bengal, while cornerback RJ Stanford's -3.7 grade was by far the worst.