The Cincinnati Bengals won in dominating fashion over the Carolina Panthers to go into the bye 5-4! They were able to post their best numbers in the run game so far this season, and Joe Mixon set the franchise record for touchdowns on the ground.
Let’s dive into the grades!
I go through each game to break down individual performance from each of the five Bengals offensive lineman and grade them per play according to my own grading criteria. Each player receives a grade from -2 to +2. Upon completion, I calculate their full game “grade” as well as separated grades for pass and run blocking.
After struggling with injuries through the offseason and his first season in Cincinnati, La’el Collins earns the top spot for the first time this season after a STRONG performance in Week 9. An above average week and a top-three performance (on the season) in run blocking lead the Bengals to dominate the visiting Panthers.
However, the group had their struggles. This was the worst grade this season as a group in pass protection.
Overall - 68.08%
Collins - 75.37%
Karras - 74.63%
Volson - 71.64%
Cappa - 61.76%
Williams - 53.73%
While the group may not have looked the best, La’el was able to post his best grade of the year and even came out as the best pass protector of the group in the Week 9 win! It was good to see him finally show signs of being the player we all expected to get when he signed with the Bengals this offseason. Having an outing like this and being able to have a week to focus on rehabbing any linger back issues should be all good signs for the big man out of Dallas. Hopefully, there’s more to come and it’s only up from here!
It wasn't the best week for the group overall, but it WAS Collins' best game of the season. He even posted the best pass protection grade of the group! It feels like an understatement to say this was an exciting performance from him, especially going into the bye week. pic.twitter.com/JyTClyvVqm— Parker Blake (@ParkerBlake60) November 8, 2022
Karras performed well as we have come to expect. He still struggles with getting to and staying on linebackers and gets caught up in the guards’ blocks, but tying for the top run blocking grade shows that he still gets the job done. I feel like we have a good grasp on what he’s going to be for the Bengals, and I’m excited to see how he continues to progress in Cincinnati!
Volson has his highs and lows, but we have to remember that he’s still a rookie. A Day 3 (4th-round pick) rookie out of an FCS school, at that. He had a solid week against the Panthers and was the other part of the tie for the top run blocking grade of the group. Still, lots of untapped potential and room to grow. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Volson is going to be a good player for a long time, and I’m glad that he wears stripes on Sundays.
Cappa still has quite a few issues with his run blocking. He rarely maintains a block, can’t seal guys very well in the zone game and does his best to avoid getting to the second level. He’s great at generating movement, but that’s about it...His pass pro is still solid though! He graded out as the second-best pass protector of the group in Week 9.
Jonah Williams has been one of the more frustrating players of the group as of late. He started off the season strong as a clear leader and one of the stronger members of the front five. However, after dislocating his knee (and returning to finish the game on it), he hasn’t been the same. Don’t forget that he was on pace to have one of the best games of the season in that game. Lately, it’s seemed that he has been trying to limp into the bye, and we can only hope that a week of rest will prove productive for the tackle who already signed a fully guaranteed fifth year deal.
Williams is frustrating, to say the least. A lot of fans are calling for his job and while I don't think we're there yet, something's gotta change. After a strong start to the year, it feels like the knee injury is starting to get to him. Hoping for a bounce back post-bye week. pic.twitter.com/gnY933x1EU— Parker Blake (@ParkerBlake60) November 8, 2022
Week 9 was the worst week of the season as far as pass protection grades go. Luckily, Burrow has a quick release and is very mobile within the pocket. The group could really use some work as far as moving their feet to mirror rushers and just not being so aggressive. Many of the losses that come in protection come from Bengals players getting overly aggressive and ducking their heads or over-committing to a move.
On the other side of the coin, this was the best week of run blocking grades for the front five. This should come to the surprise of no one as it was unarguably the best rushing game of the season for the Bengals, overall. Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come for the group. If they’re able to consistently move defensive linemen around and figure out how to effectively block at the second level, they could be a legitimate dual threat team coming into the back half of the season.
Pass Protection - 70.86%— Parker Blake (@ParkerBlake60) November 8, 2022
Collins - 80%
Cappa - 77.14%
Karras - 75.71%
Volson - 70%
Williams - 51.43%
Run Blocking - 65.31%
Karras/Volson - 73.44%
Collins - 70.31%
Williams - 56.25%
Cappa - 53.13%