In a performance that included just seven points scored, one successful third down conversion, and 148 rushing yards allowed, the Bengals collectively flopped against the Jacksonville Jaguars. How much of that involved this year’s draft class? Let’s find out in this week’s rookie report.
- Joe Mixon
- Jordan Willis
- Carl Lawson
- Josh Malone
- Ryan Glasgow
- Jordan Evans
- Cethan Carter
- Hardy Nickerson
- John Ross (lol)
As the inactives for the game were released 90 minutes prior to kick-off, starting running back Jeremy Hill was the biggest surprise among them. With Hill sidelined with an bad ankle, Mixon was slated to start his first game. Unfortunately, like most contests this season, it was largely underwhelming for the rookie.
Mixon finished the game with 31 yards on 13 carries against a defense that was 32nd in the league in rushing yards/attempt allowed. Four of those carries went for six yards or more, including his second touchdown of the year:
Couple plays later, Mixon does enough turning the corner with balance and acceleration, Green foreshadow's Ramsey's fate pic.twitter.com/3dOOUB0vzb— John Sheeran (@John__Sheeran) November 6, 2017
This run included, Mixon ran seven times out of shotgun formation for a total of 11 yards, with a long of seven (the touchdown) and was tackled twice for a loss of one and six yards respectively.
Despite a favorable matchup on paper, the Bengals offensive line was outmatched blocking an athletically superior Jaguars defensive front, causing problems for Mixon generating runs to keep the offense on track.
The status of Hill’s ankle is still relatively unknown, and even though Mixon didn’t do much to “take” Hill’s job as the starter, he’s still likely to continue taking opportunities from him. Though behind an offensive line that can’t get much push in the first level of blocking, it may not matter.
The Bengals defense recorded three stops behind the line of scrimmage all game long against the Jaguars, including this one made by Willis:
This was Willis’s lone statistic of the game. Appearing in 25 snaps (seventh on the defensive line), Willis continued to have a tough time for most of the game getting off blocks and filling gaps in the running game.
Jacksonville has done a great job this season of limiting negative plays (3rd in the league in tackle for loss percentage) and Willis had noticeable struggles disengaging against their tackles.
In eight less snaps than Willis, Lawson was essentially a non-factor going up against his old college rival Cam Robinson at left tackle (The Weekly Lineman will go more into depth on this matchup tomorrow). The Jaguars offense converted 12 of 18 third downs on the game, and the lack of pass rush from Lawson and the rest of the Bengals nickel front was a part of that collective failure.
Ever since his breakout game against Green Bay in Week 3, Lawson has gotten a sack in every other game, so watch out for another Lawson bounce-back performance this week against Tennessee.
After A.J. Green’s ejection at the end of the first half, Malone was the de facto #2 WR in the second half. During this time, Malone was target three times, all on third down interesting enough, but did not come down with a catch on any of them. He did have this third-down catch earlier in first quarter:
With Pat Sims exiting the game via injury in the first quarter, Glasgow, along with Andrew Billings, played extensively throughout the game. Like Willis, Glasgow had some issues getting off blocks and finding the ball carrier:
Run defense was a huge issue for the Bengals defense, and Glasgow didn’t have one of his better outings against a physical Jaguars interior.
Jordan Evans, Hardy Nickerson and Cethan Carter
Evans only saw six snaps on defense despite Vontaze Burfict seemingly nursing a knee injury suffered mid-game. Nickerson was on defense for four snaps. Carter Was on the field once on offense, as team used Tyler Kroft as blocking H-back. All three recorded 18 snaps on special teams, trailed only Clayton Fejedelem and Vincent Rey.
We’re entering the stage of the season where it the Bengals need to see what the future of the roster going forward looks like on the field, and seeing as nearly all of the Bengals draft class has taken a good amount of snaps, I’m looking for John Ross to finally be legitimately integrated into the offense, and Jordan Evans to be healthfully rotated in at linebacker. We’ll have to wait and see if this begins against Tennessee this Sunday.