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Tyler Eifert back to elite status in latest B/R NFL 1000 Rankings

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One of the missing pieces from last season's great offense was finally back to full form last Sunday. After playing limited snaps against the Browns,Tyler Eifert was in the top of his game in London and had the best grade of all Bengals players in Bleacher Report's NFL 1000 ranking. Dalton, though, was the lowest ranked quarterback of the week.

Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals came back from London with a tie against the Redskins, but they also found out that only injuries can stop Tyler Eifert. The fourth-year tight end had nine catches for 102 yards and a score in his second game back, and he looks to continue to be a nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators. His outstanding effort didn't go unnoticed by Bleacher Report's team of analysts in their latest NFL 1000 rankings.

Eifert was the highest ranked tight end and 19th overall player with a 79 score. His 23 points in the hands category proved to be the difference, as only three other players had 20 points or more in that category. He was also surprisingly above average in blocking, with 18 points. It was clear that the Bengals' offense missed their big, versatile target in the red zone, but Eifert had a complete game on Sunday against the Redskins and claimed back his spot among the NFL elite at the tight end position.

Three more Bengals players were included in the Week 8 Top 50: Shawn Williams, A.J. Green and Geno Atkins. The Georgia product was the best strong safety with a 79 score, leading the coverage category with 22 points out of 25. Despite a poor grade of 14 points in tackling - out of 20, Williams was also near the top in recovery with 21 points. That consistency gave him the edge over Calvin Pryor of the Jets and Adrian Phillips of the Chargers and also allowed him to be the 22nd highest ranked player overall. While Williams got a lot of praise from Bleacher Report, they also pointed to something that he should be aware of:

It was a theme that continued throughout the game. Williams played well, but the late hits weren't necessary; they were dumb. He got away with it on more than one occasion, but he could have easily have been called for multiple roughness penalties and allowed Washington a free 15 yards each time.

Green showed again why he's the best wide receiver in the NFL. On track to become the best receiver in Bengals' history, Green had another outstanding game with nine catches for 121 yards, his fourth 100-yard game of the 2016 season. He was the 40th highest ranked player by Bleacher Report, only two spots ahead of Atkins, who was only surpassed by the monster game of the Panthers' Star Lotulelei in the defensive tackle position. His 78 points were a huge improvement over his Week 7 grade, and his first sack since the Dolphins game helped him get the second best grade in the pass rush category, with 20 points out of 25. Bleacher Report also added that:

Geno Atkins had one of his stronger games this season in the Bengals' thrilling tie against Washington. His play this year has been a bit spotty, so it was great to see him disturb Washington's offensive line en route to logging two tackles and one sack.

Andy Dalton had his worst grade of the season, with only 53 points in the ranking and was ranked dead last among quarterback, even below Blake Bortles. While it's true that Dalton didn't have an impressive game it is hard to believe he was that bad - 10 points worse than Ryan Fitzpatrick, who faced the Browns' defense. Bleacher Report, though, argued that Dalton was lucky to not to get picked more times than one:

Only Andy Dalton outdid Bortles. The Cincinnati Bengals quarterback was lucky not to throw six interceptions against Washington in London. He repeatedly missed big plays when A.J. Green was open deep, and he was fortunate Josh Norman dropped three interceptions. Had the Bengals even gotten average play from the position, they would have been comfortable victors. Instead, they settled for a tie.

Eric Winston, despite playing only 33% of the snaps, outplayed his fellow right tackle, Cedric Ogbuehi, by six points, 74 to 68. The veteran journeyman was the seventh best at the position, with above average grades in every category.

Every defense end had a terrible evening in the United Kingdom, with Carlos Dunlap 41st of 52 qualified players, and everybody else below him, including Margus Hunt as the worst ranked and Michael Johnson 49st. Karlos Dansby and the rest of the linebacker crew saved the day in spite of some pretty ugly plays with average ranks. That doesn't mean they had good grades, though, as the 4-3 outside linebacker position is lacking talent throughout the league right now, and most of the names below Dansby, Vincent Rey and Vontaze Burfict are uninspiring at best.

And on special teams, Mike Nugent had, obviously the worst grade in the entire league, and also his worst grade so far this season, after missing a field goal and an extra point.

Nugent has been a slightly below-average kicker since 2012, and there are free-agent options who could be attractive at low cost to the Bengals. Should Nugent continue to struggle, this could be an easy area for Cincinnati to bolster heading into a potential run at the playoffs.

Here are the ranked Bengals players and you can check the full rankings here:

Player Position Rank/out of Last week Score (all out of 100) Last week High rank/score (game) Low rank/score (game)
Andy Dalton QB 28/28 10  53 71 
10 (Week 7) /71 (Weeks 2&7)
28 (Week 8) /53 (Week 8)
Giovani Bernard RB 12/52 20  73 72  12 (Week 8) /73 (Weeks 5, 6 and 8) 51 (Week 1) /69 (Week 1)
Jeremy Hill RB 19/52 71 76  7 (Week 7) /76 (Week 7) 53 (Week 2) /66 (Week 5)
A.J. Green WR 2/115 78 74  1 (Week 1) /86 (Week 1) 32 (Week 2) /70 (Week 5)
Brandon LaFell WR 39/115 33  67 66  6 (Week 5) /76 (Weeks 1&5) 62 (Week 2) /66 (Week 7)
Tyler Boyd WR 31/115 76  68 62  31 (Week 8) /68 (Week 8) 104 (Week 1) /60 (Week 1)
James Wright WR 114/115 124  55 56  110 (Week 6) /59 (Week 6) 125 (Week 4) /54 (Week 4)
Cody Core WR N/R N/R N/R N/R 99 (Week 5) /57 (Week 5) 115 (Week 1) /52 (Week 1)
Alex Erickson WR N/R 127 N/R 55 108 (Week 5) /56 (Weeks 5&6) 129 (Week 6) / 55 (Week 7)
Tyler Eifert TE 1/66 14 79 65  1 (Week 8) /79 (Week 8) 14 (Week 7) /65 (Week 8)
Tyler Kroft TE 25/66 43  63 60  14 (Week 6) 66 (Week 6) 62 (Week 1) /51 (Week 1)
Ryan Hewittt TE 30/66 67  62 57  30 (Week 8) /63 (Week 3) 67 (Weeks 2&7) /55 (Week 2)
C.J. Uzomah TE N/R 57 N/R 59 6 (Week 4) /71 (Week 4) 67 (Weeks 2&7) /55 (Week 2)
Andrew Whitworth LT 9/28 76 77  6 (Weeks 1&4) /85 (Week 1) 16 (Week 2) /73 (Week 5)
Jake Fisher LT N/R 26 N/R 70 26 (Week 7) /70 (Week 7) 26 (Week 7) /70 (Week 7)
Cedric Ogbuehi RT 24/30 28  68 65  20 (Week 6) /72 (Week 2) 28 (Week 7) /65 (Weeks 4&7)
Eric Winston RT 7/30 N/R 74 N/R 7 (Week 8) /74 (Week 8) 7 (Week 8) /74 (Week 8)
Kevin Zeitler G 39/55 67 77  1 (Week 7) /80 (Week 3) 50 (Week 1) /67 (Week 8)
Clint Boling G 13/55 10  72 74  10 (Weeks 2&7) /79 (Weeks 1&2) 47 (Week 6) /67 (Week 6)
Russell Bodine C 21/27 19  67 68  17 (Week 4) /69 (Weeks 3&5) 32 (Weeks 1&2) /57 (Week 1)
T.J. Johnson C N/R N/R N/R N/R 30 (Week 6) /65 (Week 6) 30 (Week 6) /65 (Week 6)
Carlos Dunlap DE 41/52 65 73  1 (Week 4) /76 (Week 4) 41 (Week 8) /62(Week 2)
Michael Johnson DE 49/52 49  59 60  19 (Week 2) /62 (Week 2) 53 (Week 4) /55 (Weeks 1&3)
Margus Hunt DE 52/52 45  57 61  20 (Week 2) /63 (Week 6) 60 (Week 4) 53 (Week 4)
Will Clarke DE 47/52 35  61 65  33 (Week 4) /65 (Week 7) 55 (Week 5) /53 (Week 5)
Geno Atkins DT 2/64 10  78 71  2 (Weeks 1, 4 and 8) /91 (Week 1) 16 (Week 5) /71 (Weeks 5&7)
Domata Peko DT 45/64 34  60 60  29 (Week 4) /70 (Week 1) 56 (Week 2) /59 (Week 2)
Pat Sims DT 48/64 51  59 57  45 (Week 4) /64 (Week 4) 60 (Week 3) /57 (Week 7)
Vontaze Burfict OLB 12/32 11  68 68  7 (Week 4) /69 (Week 4) 14 (Week 6) /60 (Week 5)
Karlos Dansby OLB 15/32 13  66 66  8 (Week 4) /73 (Week 2) 27 (Week 1) /53 (Week 1
Vincent Rey OLB 17/32 10  63 68  7 (Week 2) /76 (Week 2) 23 (Week 6) /57 (Week 6)
Rey Maualuga MLB 39/43 43  63 65  37 (Week 3) /71 (Week 3) 52 (Week 1) /60 (Week 5)
Adam Jones CB 41/83 27  63 70  10 (Week 2) /81 (Week 2) 74 (Week 3) /59 (Week 3)
Dre Kirkpatrick CB 66/83 29  57 69  11 (Week 2) /80 (Week 2) 104 (Week 1) /49 (Week 1
Josh Shaw CB 80/83 62  53 61  23 (Week 1) /72 (Week 1) 80 (Weeks 3&8) /53 (Week 8)
Darqueze Dennard CB N/R N/R N/R N/R 85 (Week 5) /55 (Week 4) 101 (Week 2) /50 (Week 2)
Chris Lewis-Harris CB N/R N/R N/R N/R 51 (Week 4) /65 (Week 4) 91 (Week 1) /54 (Week 1)
Chris Iloka FS 5/35 16  77 75  5 (Week 8) /77 (Weeks 3&8) 40 (Week 6) /62 (Week 6)
Derron Smith FS N/R N/R N/R N/R 27 (Week 6) /72 (Week 6) 27 (Week 6) /72 (Week 6)
Shawn Williams SS 1/36 25  79 72  1 (Week 8) /82 (Weeks 1&3) 25 (Week 7) /72 (Weeks 5&7)
Mike Nugent K 26/26 29  50 55  4 (Week 4) /74 (Week 4) 29 (Week 7) /50 (Week 8)
Kevin Huber P 15/26 27  64 55  15 (Week 4) /69 (Week 4) 32 (Week 2) /53 (Week 5)