The Cincinnati Bengals were felt around the league in their opening game against Seattle. This team will not be rolled over, and their performance earned them four players on Pro Football Focus’ Team of the Week.
The three that earned the spot were P Kevin Huber, C Trey Hopkins, DE Sam Hubbard and DT Geno Atkins.
Bobby Hart, John Miller, Andre Smith, Trey Hopkins, and rookie Michael Jordan protected Andy Dalton valiantly. While they all should get some credit for the unit’s performance, it was Trey Hopkins who found himself on Pro Football Focus’ Offensive Team of the Week.
That said, it’s terrific to see Hopkins on the team. The 27-year-old has spent most of his career as a guard, yet with new leadership in the Queen City, he was moved to center, replacing 2018 first-round pick Billy Price.
On the defensive end, it was Hubbard and Atkins that made their presence known.
Hubbard, who recorded six sacks in his rookie season, opened his second season with a bang. He notched two sacks. That wasn’t it though. Hubbard came up huge with 2.5 tackles for loss, four quarterback hits (which is highly impressive playing against Russell Wilson), and ten tackles, six of which were solo tackles.
“Hubbard moved around the defensive front like he usually does and consistently brought pressure. From 19 pass-rushing snaps, he racked up two sacks and two hits and added a further five tackles resulting in a defensive stop on the day,” PFF’s Gordon McGuinness said on Hubbard.
This was a phenomenal start for the former Buckeye. However, he wasn’t the only defender to bolt out of the gate. Geno Atkins, a long-time member of the team’s defense line, landed one sack, 2.5 tackles for loss, one quarterback hit and seven tackles.
As for Huber, we already knew he was one of the NFL’s better punters, so seeing him make this isn’t much of a surprise.
“Huber was booming punts for the Bengals yesterday, dropping the ball near to the opposing goal line and sideline seemingly with ease. Two of his four punts landed inside the Seahawks’ 20-yard line and he averaged 4.51 seconds of hang-time per punt.”
Already counted out of the AFC North, the Bengals, outside of the Ravens who played the Dolphins, a team already tanking 2018, were the most impressive team in the AFC North after Week 1.
That said, they’ll get a much easier time in their home opener against the San Francisco 49ers.