The Cincinnati Bengals were able to pull out a win over the Browns despite a downright disappointing showing from their front five. The boys had their WORST week of the season in the pass protection department, scoring a group grade of 59.74. That is 5.33 worse than their Week 1 performance against the Steelers.
They did perform better than average in the run blocking department this week, though! Any signs of improvement in the run game from this group should excite fans. Once the guys up front can clean up their run blocking, what’s going to stop this team?
Let’s dive into the grades!
Though the Browns have an impressive pass rush that I expected to cause problems for the OL, I didn’t expect the amount of struggles that I saw. Collins had difficulty handling Clowney all game which was dramatically opposite his performance against the same opponent back on Halloween night. Pair that with the fact that, to nobody’s surprise, Williams lost more than his fair share of reps against Myles Garrett and that’s not a winning recipe. Don’t worry though, there were bright spots! Karras looked great in pass protection and Volson was even able to really step up and shine next to Williams.
Cappa graded out at a SEASON LOW to lock in his spot at the bottom of the rankings in Week 14.
- Overall - 60.94
- Karras - 71.09
- Volson - 65.63
- Collins - 57.81
- Williams - 56.25
- Cappa - 53.91
It should come as no surprise to see Karras, again, atop the chart when it comes to overall grades. The man is consistent and while not flashy, always gets his job done. The group struggled in pass protection, so of course Karras stepped up and blew the other 4 scores out of the water. I’ve been very happy with what he’s brought to the table as a captain in his first season with the team. I’m excited to see what he can do with the rest of his time in Cincinnati!
Volson has been an amazing and not to mention unexpected addition to this unit. Being a late draft pick from an FCS program, I don’t think many people had too high of expectations for him coming into the year. However, he’s been more than serviceable, and I’d say he’s one of the better players of this front five. He continues to improve week after week and that was seen against the Browns in his ability to adjust and not only help out Williams, but even handle stunts very effectively. Volson is a solid player for this team, and he’s going to be that for a long time.
It's no secret at this point that Volson is one of my favorite players on this team. He was the best run blocker of the group this week and the second best pass protector. He was able to help out when Williams would lose inside and was solid vs stunts. Love this kid. pic.twitter.com/GXejXpXaFo— Parker Blake (@ParkerBlake60) December 13, 2022
Collins struggled against Clowney in their rematch this week. Sprinkle in some penalties and some bad losses and overall, he had a rough game. Unfortunately, he was only slightly worse than average for the group this week. I had high hopes for him after seeing his impressive performance on Halloween. He didn’t live up to that, and I’m back to wondering what his potential is, long term, for the Bengals.
Unlike Collins, Williams didn’t have a great performance to look back on in preparation for this week’s matchup. However, similar to Collins, I’d argue that Williams also performed worse against his opponent this week compared to the Halloween game. He gave up more than his share of QB hits and pressure on top of a couple flags. Overall, just a sloppy game from a player that I’m really hoping can hit his stride soon.
Cappa actually didn’t have a terrible game, overall. He was the second highest graded run blocker of the unit this week. However, he had a long day in pass protection. Not only did he pull the third-lowest pass protection grade of the SEASON this week, but he also allowed two sacks and 3 QB hits per my film review. This was a prime example of the concerns I have with his consistency.
This was the absolute WORST performance that I’ve seen from this group in regard to pass protection. They put up a season LOW grade (and it’s not very close) as a unit, and it showed live. Even facing a top level pass rush, I was baffled by the struggles they had. I wouldn’t say they got beat by the Browns’ pass rush, but that they (pardon the cliché coach speak) beat themselves with blown assignments, missed blocks, sloppy technique, etc. Luckily, I wouldn’t expect another game like this out of this group in a LONG time. Plus, the Bengals were still able to win the game! Imagine what they will do when they’re back up to their standard of protection.
The group is still improving slowly, but surely in the run game. There was a very slight drop off from last week to this week, but 3 of the 5 starters performed better than the week’s average! I still worry about their ability to block at the second level and hope to see improvement there by the end of the season.
Pass Protection— Parker Blake (@ParkerBlake60) December 13, 2022
Overall - 59.74
Karras - 83.33
Volson - 61.54
Williams - 55.13
Collins - 53.85
Cappa - 44.87
Overall - 62.80
Volson - 72
Cappa - 68
Collins - 64
Williams - 58
Karras - 52