Opening week of the NFL season is one of the most exciting times of the year for football fans, especially when your favorite team starts the season with one of the all-around best performances in recent memory. To start of the 2015 season, the Bengals did just that by recording their first ever win in Oakland by a decisive score of 33-13.
As a whole, most Bengals players were graded very well for their overall solid performances in Oakland, but the best grades went to Geno Atkins (+6.6), Clint Boling, (+4.5), Adam Jones (+4.2), Tyler Eifert (+3.3), Andrew Whitworth (+2.8), and Andy Dalton (+2.6). Things weren't always perfect, but this look from the Bengals is the kind that could really strike fear into the rest of the NFL.
With a mostly good performance from the offensive line, Andy Dalton was able to be methodical and efficient out of the backfield, receiving one of the team's highest overall scores (+2.6). Dalton threw for 269 yards and two touchdowns on 34 attempts, going 25-for-30 on short attempts. A.J. Green received a much lower overall grade (-0.3) largely due to dropping a touchdown pass that would have made the passing game look even better than it already did.
With Green being so ineffective for most of the game, Tyler Eifert really had a chance to shine, receiving an extremely good grade (+3.3) for his 104 reception yards and two touchdowns, including a pair of forced missed tackles and a positive run blocking score. Had Eifert not dropped one of the 10 passes thrown his way, he would have had a perfect game to set him up for a breakout season.
There wasn't really much to say about the running game this week - largely because it wasn't needed. Jeremy Hill scored two touchdowns, but only averaged 3.3 yards per carry. Giovani Bernard was much more effective in the running game, averaging 7.9 yards per carry, and also catching all six of the passes thrown his way (although only gaining 4.2 yards per catch).
Clint Boling (+4.5) and Andrew Whitworth (+2.8) both contributed to a performance from the offensive line that generally dominated the Raiders. Boling actually had a career game, being rated as the best offensive lineman in the NFL in Week 1, largely on the strength of his run blocking (+3.8).
However, it wasn't all great. Andre Smith struggled mightily at both pass blocking (-1.2) and run blocking (-3.2). He gave up a hit on Dalton and two hurries on 38 passing plays, potentially part of the motivation of Hue Jackson introducing a six-man offensive line on certain running plays featuring rookie Jake Fisher and veteran Eric Winston.
Geno Atkins received the best score on the team (+6.6) as a result of a strong score against the run (+2.1), one sack, and four QB hurries. Atkins is continuing to show the football world that 2014 was a fluke due to having so little time to get ready for the season, and now he's made a real statement by dominating in a regular season game. Atkins'dominance against the run helped the Bengals to combine for an excellent score against the run (+10.7), leading the NFL in week 1.
Another name to take note of is Adam Jones, who received a very positive overall score for his efforts against the Raiders (+4.2). Although his role, as a cornerback, is primarily to deflect passes, Jones's contributions to the run game (+3.1) were invaluable to the Bengals on Sunday as were his contributions to the pass coverage (2.0). Jones recorded the most solo tackles on the team (10) while only being notably penalized once, an unnecessary roughness call that was negated due to a Raiders' holding call.