Imagine two years ago hearing that a team with Eli Apple as its CB1 would hold a starting quarterback to three completions on 10 attempts for nine yards and two interceptions.
Well, that’s exactly what happened for the Cincinnati Bengals against P.J. Walker and the Carolina Panthers.
After the team lost Chidobe Awuzie to an ACL injury against the Cleveland Browns and Mike Hilton went down with a pinky injury, Apple immediately became the only reliable corner on the team. Thankfully, he has all the confidence in the world.
Following the injury, Apple said, “It’s about picking up that next guy, getting focused, and doing whatever you can to be the best team you can be.”
Eli Apple says he's ready to help fill in void left by Chido Awuzie and believes in Dax Hill. #Bengals pic.twitter.com/3MSUmAFSem— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) November 2, 2022
And then he went out and backed it up. While it was Jessie Bates who made the interception here, Apple received great praise from Lou Anarumo for his awareness and Cover 2 technique.
Excellent technique.— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) November 8, 2022
Eli Apple re-routes DJ Moore on the release here. Then he gains depth to close the window vs. the corner route. https://t.co/WI0XPireBf
Anarumo spoke about how well Eli Apple played vs. Carolina. He said Apple's PBU on the crossing route was one of the toughest plays a corner can make. And Apple played "clinic" coverage in the Cover 2 defense on Jessie Bates' pick.— Charlie Goldsmith (@CharlieG__) November 8, 2022
As a result of Apple stepping up and assuming Awuzie’s role as a leader, the Bengals had their best first half of defense of the entire year.
We talked about Apple’s contributions and more in our recent show:
You can also listen on iTunes or using the player below: