If you’re looking for a silver lining following the blowout loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, there’s always this: Jordan Battle is really stepping up.
The rookie out of Alabama is Pro Football Focus’ best run defender from the 2023 class, with a grade of 85.5.
Highest graded rookie run defender this season:— PFF College (@PFF_College) December 21, 2023
Jordan Battle, CIN: 85.5 pic.twitter.com/ciQdEudnld
There’s no doubt that the tackling is better with Battle in the lineup.
The issue, though, heading into a matchup with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, is if he can help put a stop to the big passing plays Lou Anarumo’s defense is allowing.
Watch below, as A to Z Sports’ John Sheeran breaks down precisely how Battle and Dax Hill are helping as well as what they need to do better to fill the void left by Jessie Bates (who is having a fantastic year with the Atlanta Falcons) and Vonn Bell (who is now with the Carolina Panthers):
And you can watch the entire preview of the Bengals vs Chiefs game here:
Or you can listen on iTunes or using the player below: