The Cincinnati Bengals extend their winning streak to SIX games and improve to 10-4 on the year.
The front five really impressed this week as they post their third-highest grade as a group, on the season. The group also posted their second best grades on the season in both run blocking AND pass protection.
Overall, this was as good of a game as they’ve had this season.
The Bengals’ OL looked GREAT in Tampa Bay on Sunday. The group needed a bounce back game coming off one of their worst games of the season against the Browns the week prior, and they got it. Having a “get right” game going into their final road game of the regular season and then two games against playoff teams is big, momentum wise, for this group. While the group has been up and down throughout the year, I’m hoping for a nice hot streak to end the year!
Cappa needed a bounce back game in a bad way after posting a personal season low grade of 53.91 last week against the Browns. Being the top performer in both categories (pass protection and run blocking) was a sign that he was ready to get back to normal. He seemed to really be under control this week and didn’t seem to panic much, even against stunts or exotic looks. I couldn’t ask for much more than he delivered in one of his best performances in Cincinnati.
At this point in his short career in Cincinnati, Karras has set the expectation that he should grade in the top two of the group every week. As per usual, here he sits! While he didn’t do much to jump off the screen this week, he is a solid performer and executes his job very consistently. He is the best pass protector of the group (and it’s not necessarily close), but he is still leaving much to be desired in the run game. Overall, still a great pickup for the Bengals and I’m excited to keep watching him!
It’s always good to see Collins sneak into the top 3 every now and then! This week, it was his run blocking that pulled him up as he tied for the second-best grade of the group in that category. However, he is still leaving a lot to be desired when it comes to pass protection. I think this back injury has set him back, athletically, for the rest of his career. It’s good to see him slowly improving in the run game. Hopefully, we get to see some of his trademark nastiness before he’s out.
Volson is consistently in the middle of the pack and honestly, I’m okay with that. Looking back at the expectations I had coming into this year (especially at that position), I’ve been pleasantly surprised! He really seemed to struggle in pass protection this week, but held his own enough to earn a solid grade. I think his over-aggressive style of play hurts him in that area. I need to see more out of him in the run game, as well. He showed a lot of good traits and flashes early in this season, but it looks like he’s taken a lot of care to get more patient and controlled. A worthwhile tradeoff, for the long term. He’s still got a ways to go, but I’m still happy with the rookie!
I was surprised to see that Williams ended up at the bottom of this list. However, he posted an above (personal) average grade and was the second highest graded pass protector of the group. That’s the area where people have had the most concerns with him and I feel confident that he’s back to form. It looks like he’s relatively back to full health and if the run scheme gets back to where it’s been, he’ll be fine.
Overall, there can’t be too many complaints when the group is a couple of points off of posting a new season high pass protection grade. Collins’ issues are still there and painfully obvious at times. However, he’s still getting the job done and luckily, he’s not on Burrow’s blind side. Karras has performed below his average mark over the last couple of weeks, but I’m not worried about a slid. After a three game stretch of 87%+ grades in that category, a cool off is to be expected. Seeing Williams back in the 80s is a great sign coming down the stretch, as well.
It looked like the Bengals got away from the gap scheme run game that has been working so well for them lately against the Bucs, but even so, the group still posted their second-best grade on the season in that category. It was good to see Collins back in the 70s, as I believe he was slated as one of the better run blockers of the group coming into the season. Williams had an uncharacteristically bad game run blocking which was surprising considering that he’s one of the better zone blockers, in my opinion. Volson also graded out surprisingly low in this area compared to the rest of his season. Hopefully, the Bengals get back to the gap based scheme next week, as that seems to work the best.
Pass Protection— Parker Blake (@ParkerBlake60) December 20, 2022
Overall - 83.33
Cappa - 91.67
Williams - 89.29
Volson - 82.14
Karras - 80.95
Collins - 72.62
Overall - 69.05
Cappa - 80.95
Collins/Karras - 78.57
Volson - 54.76
Williams - 52.38