The Cincinnati Bengals pulled off a win to end the 2019 season on a high note. As if that wasn’t enough, we got some added pleasure as fans getting to watch the Cleveland Browns get kicked down a peg.
This game gave several young players extended time to show what they have, and there is plenty we can infer from it when it comes to possible offseason moves. In short, hopefully we can get more games like this in 2020.
Snap count takeaways from the Bengals win over the Browns:
- The Bengals end 2019 with a game we have to becomes the norm for them in 2020. Cincinnati out snapped Cleveland 69 to 54. The Bengals’ offense was able to move the ball pretty consistently, and their defense did a good job of making it hard for the Browns to move the ball consistently. Cleveland did have a few big plays for scores which also impacts these numbers, but Cincinnati also created a few turnovers as well as shutdown the run.
- Darius Phillips (53) played in place of William Jackson III, who was put on injured reserve for the final week of the season with a shoulder injury. Phillips played like a young player. He gave up a long touchdown on Cleveland’s opening drive, but he followed that up by jumping an underneath route for an interception that was almost returned for a touchdown. He then gave up another big play, but then ran down a pretty bad overthrow by Baker Mayfield afterwards. Overall, he showed there is absolutely something to build on with him. He is a player that should be included in the future of this Bengals’ defense for his ball skills alone.
- Fred Johnson (68) basically got to showcase himself in Week 17 with Cordy Glenn (2) hardly playing at all. It is no secret at this point that Glenn probably won’t be around in 2020, and the Bengals will have Jonah Williams return this offseason after missing all of this past season due to injury. The offensive line proved that it needed more work than just a coaching change, and Johnson was able to show that he should at least be given a chance to compete for a starting spot on the right side in 2020.
- It should also be noted that Billy Price didn’t play an offensive snap. When you couple that with Trey Hopkins getting a contract extension and the Bengals opting for John Miller and Michael Jordan to start over him at guard, it doesn’t look promising for Price’s future in Cincinnati.
- Germaine Pratt (36) had probably his best game as a rookie this week. He stopped Nick Chubb in the backfield several times, and he had a pressure that led directly to a sack. This is a good lesson to fans who want to prematurely burry young players after their first few games. Pratt isn’t a completed product yet, and year two looks like it could be a very exciting one for him.
- At wide receiver John Ross III (47) was out snapped by Alex Erickson (57). It is hard to tell whether the coaches trust Erickson more or they are being cautious with Ross still coming off his injury. Ross out gained Erickson 42 yards to 16, though. It was noteworthy that Ross did better when they went back to him on routes that weren’t just him trying to stretch the field. In 2020 Cincinnati can hopefully work in a few more of those routes earlier into games to build his confidence up. His chemistry with a new quarterback could also potentially be a factor.
- Tyler Eifert (27) may have saw his last game as a Bengal. He played in all 16 games, but Cincinnati clearly used him sparingly to try and preserve him (even though it probably worked to the detriment of the team early in the season). C.J. Uzomah (53) clearly became the starting tight end in 2019, and with Drew Sample, who the Bengals spent a second round pick on, returning, it is hard to believe either side would benefit greatly by Eifert signing on again. Eifert is likely to see more activity on the open market this year, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Bengals make the effort to hold onto him.
- Jessie Bates III (54), Sam Hubbard (47) and Carl Lawson (38) have really cemented themselves as key pieces for this defense. This year has been a great one for all three of them. Bates showed he is was able to grow from his rookie season and add to his game. Hubbard also built off a strong rookie campaign, and he showed plenty of versatility as a linebacker at times. Lawson also showed that his rookie season wasn’t a fluke. His return from injury was a huge part of the Bengals defense huge turnaround i the second part of the season. If these guys continue to be able to play a huge part of portion of their snaps then this defense is in good hands going forward.
- Just a quick appreciation for Andy Dalton (69) as well. His snaps likely will be going to someone else in 2020, and it was already weird not putting snaps by his name earlier in the season. Whether he ends up returning as a backup next season or leaving this offseason, it felt good he got to end his era with the Bengals with a game like this.
Bengals snap counts against Browns
|#||POS.||NAME||Snaps||Percentage of snaps|
|#||POS.||NAME||Snaps||Percentage of snaps|
|56||LB||Hardy Nickerson Jr.||--||--|
|30||S||Jessie Bates III||54||100|