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Bengals vs. Buccaneers Pro Football Focus Grades

We take a look at Pro Football Focus's grades for the Bengals in their 25-11 preseason defeat on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals' showing on Monday Night Football during the second season of the preseason was a poor one. But, some players did stand out, namely those fighting for their spot on the final roster. Here's a look at Pro Football Focus' grades for the Bengals.

On the offensive side of the ball, the highest graded players overall were James Wilder Jr. (+1.2), Kevin Zeitler (+.9), Rex Burkhead (+.4), Jake Smith (+.4), Andrew Whitworth (+.3), Brandon Tate (+.3) and Cedric Peerman (+.2).

On the defensive side of the ball, the highest graded players overall were Geno Atkins (+4.5), Trevor Roach (+3.9), Devon Still (+3.8), P.J. Dawson (+3.4), Shiloh Keo (+2.1), Reggie Nelson (+1.3), Marquis Flowers (+1.3), Sam Montgomery (+.09).

Here are the further breakdowns and some analysis:


  • Quarterback Andy Dalton was sacked three times, hit once, and hurried 11 times on 18 dropbacks.

  • Dalton's 46.1 percent completion rating, 46 passing yards, and two interceptions resulted in a poor passing score from PFF (-0.7)

  • Quarterback A.J. McCarron received a very poor passing score from PFF (-1.2), despite a 73 percent completion rating, and not throwing any interceptions. McCarron's poor grade is largely due to being responsible for his own 11-yard sack.

  • Despite recording 12.0 yards per reception, wide receiver A.J. Green received a negative grade in the passing game (-0.7) largely due to dropping two of his four targets, one of which was caught as an interception and returned for a touchdown.


  • Running back Jeremy Hill received a very poor rushing grade from PFF (-1.8), only averaging 4.0 yards per rush and no touchdowns.

  • Only running back James Wilder Jr. received a particularly good overall (+1.2) and rushing score (+1.1) out of any offensive player on the team. Only right guard, Kevin Zeitler recorded a particularly good score (+.9) in any other category whatsoever.

  • Ryan Hewitt was asked to block for three separate rushing attempts, receiving a positive rushing score as a result (+0.3).


  • The offensive line put together a generally poor performance, resulting in a poor average PFF score (-0.98).

  • Only starting right guard Kevin Zeitler (+0.9), starting left tackle Andrew Whitworth (+0.3) and reserve center Jake Smith (+0.4) posted positive overall grades for their performance. Only Zeitler received a run blocking OR pass blocking score greater than 1.0 (+1.1 run blocking score).

  • Offensive tackle Tanner Hawkinson received the lowest overall score of any Bengals' offensive lineman, as well as offensive player (-4.1).

  • Starting left guard Clint Boling (-1.3) and starting center Russell Bodine (-0.6) received very poor grades on average while blocking for Dalton (-1.0 average pass blocking grade).


  • Defensive tackle Geno Atkins received the highest grade on the defense (+4.5) due to sacking the opposing quarterback once, hurrying him three times, and playing 24 total snaps, completely overwhelming rookie guard Ali Marpet.

  • Defensive tackle Devon Still also received a particularly high overall score (+3.8), due to two excellent quarterback hurries, one tackle, one assist, and one stop performance on 31 total snaps.

  • Defensive tackle Domata Peko received the worst overall score on defense (-2.9) largely due to performing poorly against the run (-2.3)

  • As a whole, the Bengals' defense scored extremely poorly in pass coverage (-9.4), with (-2.0) scores or worse coming from both cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris and linebacker Chris Carter.

  • Linebackers Trevor Roach (+3.9) and P.J. Dawson (+3.4) received very good overall PFF scores, being credited with eight stops between them, despite both playing less than 20 snaps.

  • Only defensive tackle Geno Atkins (+3.7), defensive end Carlos Dunlap (+1.2), and linebacker Chris Carter (+1.9) received particularly positive pass rush scores against the Buccaneers, combining for three sacks, four quarterback hurries, and a quarterback hit.

  • Of all starting veteran cornerbacks, only Dre Kirkpatrick received a positive grade (+0.1). The other two (Leon Hall and Adam Jones) both posted very poor grades (-1.3 and -1.4 respectively).