Cincinnati did so with a great ground game and a bend-but-don’t-break defensive effort. That led to a lot of high marks from Pro Football Focus, including one of the best overall games by the offensive line.
Right tackle Eric Winston filled in well for Andre Smith this week, Winston finished Week 13 as the third-best tackle with an overall PFF grade of 83.8. Winston was on the field for 84 snaps and recorded an average run blocking grade or 73.6 and a pass-blocking grade of 86.3.
Left guard Alex Redmond was the highest graded offensive player of the game, barely edging out Winston. Redmond earned an 84.2 overall PFF grade this week. Redmond actually came off the bench to replace Christian Westerman early in the game.
Running back Giovani Bernard took the majority of the Bengals snaps, being on the field for 71 out of the 84 offensive snaps. Bernard finished with an Elusive Rating of 28.6, 11th out of 40 qualified running back. Bernard was able to create 2.00 yards after contact on average this week. However Bernard didn't fair well in the PFF overall grade, earning poor game grade of 51.3.
The Bengals’ highest graded wide receiver was Tyler Boyd, who earned a 67.8 overall PFF grade. Boyd had a 93.8 passer rating when targeted.
A.J. Green earned a poor 47.1 overall grade. When targeted, Green had a passer rating of 46.3. When targeting Green, Andy Dalton has thrown eight touchdowns versus seven interceptions. This is only behind Denver's Demaryius Thomas, who has nine interceptions when targeted.
Rising star William Jackson earned another high quality game this week, earning the second-highest overall grade in the game of 85.8. That was the seventh best grade for a cornerback in Week 16.
Jackson has performed as well as any cornerback this season. When targeted this year, he's allowed a passer rating of 37.8, second lowest of all cornerbacks with at least 150 coverage snaps, trailing only A.J. Bouye.
On average, Jackson is targeted once every 8.5 (13th least targeted per snap) coverage snaps he's on the field, and allows a reception once every 23.3 (second best) snaps for 0.43 (second least) yards per snap.
Defensive tackle Geno Atkins ranks first of all defensive tackles in applying pressure to opposing quarterbacks, Atkins has applied pressure on 12.0 percent of all passing snaps he has been on the field for.
Defensive end Carlos Dunlap pressured Matthew Stafford on 18.3 percent of his passing snaps. Of the 30 snaps Dunlap was rushing on, he was able to sack Stafford once and hurry him six times.
Rookie linebacker Jordan Evans struggled in the passing game this week. Evans was in coverage for eleven snaps, targeted five times and allowed four receptions for 59 yards and one score.
For the season, Evans has been targeted on average once every 4.4 snaps, allows a reception every 5.5 snaps, and allows 2.78 yards per snaps. These are the worst efficiency metrics among rookie linebackers this season.