clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Bengals vs. Bills: Bengals Grades During 27-24 Win Over The Bills

New, comments

We breakdown position-by-position the Bengals performance against the Buffalo Bills.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Spor

Quarterback: Save for a second quarter interception that didn't lead to any points, Andy Dalton played well with a handful of clutch throws on third and fourth down -- especially his ten-yarder to Mohamed Sanu in overtime that eventually gave Cincinnati superior field position for the eventual game-winner. His 337 yards passing and three touchdowns were both season highs.

Grade: B

Running Back: BenJarvus Green-Ellis was a big-bodied monster on the ground, recording a season-high 86 yards rushing and a 4.8 yard/rush average. Giovani Bernard was a monster through the air, posting a career-high 72 yards receiving on six receptions, including a mind-blowing touchdown run that avoided Buffalo's defense. Not even Mark V Jaegers could stop these monsters.

Grade: B+

Wide Receiver: To me, this was the best game of the year for wide receivers as a whole (not just a single performance). A.J. Green eclipsed 100 yards receiving for the first time since Chicago and Marvin Jones added 105 yards from scrimmage, which included a 34-yard reverse in the first quarter. Jones' third-quarter touchdown was masterful from receiver and quarterback while Sanu converted a handful of third down conversions that sustained important possessions.

Grade: B+

Tight End: Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert combined for seven targets on Sunday, completing four for 18 yards receiving. Neither were bad as blockers though. Just appears as a matter of not being included in the game-plan as much as the backs and receivers.

Grade: C-

Offensive Line: The Bengals running game generated 165 yards rushing and a 4.0 yard/rush average, including a massive 25-yarder by BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who finished the game with 86 yards rushing. Dalton was fairly protected because despite being sacked three times, Andre Smith was the only offensive lineman credited for allowing a sack, according to Pro Football Focus. Then there's this.

Grade: B+

Defensive Line: The defense sacked Thad Lewis five times and all but one (James Harrison) was assigned to the defensive line: Carlos Dunlap, Wallace Gilberry, Domata Peko, Geno Atkins (shared) and Brandon Thompson (shared). Dunlap added a forced fumble, two hits on the quarterback and two tackles for loss. On the other hand, the defensive front struggled early against the run when the Bills generated 74 yards rushing in the first quarter alone. Things stabilized afterward and the defensive line was responsible for the team's defensive stand in the second quarter, congesting every lane that was available to Fred Jackson.

Grade: B

Linebacker: Though it's questionable if Vontaze Burfict should have been flagged with three personal fouls, the 45 yards gained on those flags were significant. That being said, Burfict recovered a fumble and led the team with 11 tackles, including one for a loss. Harrison was credited for the fourth down sack during Cincinnati's goalline stand early in the second quarter. Burfict and Vincent Rey had plays that helped the goalline stand.

Grade: B

Secondary: Terence Newman allowed the game-tying touchdown to Goodwin with a minute remaining that eventually sent the game into overtime. Adam Jones allowed a 47-yard reception and 76 yards total on four completions. On the other hand, Leon Hall only allowed three completions and 11 yards while George Iloka was second on the team with eight tackles.

Grade: C

Special Teams: Unit of the game, in my opinion. Despite pushing a 34-yard kick wide right in the third quarter that would have prevented overtime in the first place, Nugent converted the game winner while Brandon Tate (29-yard punt return) and Kevin Huber (overtime punt to the Bills seven-yard line) put Cincinnati in a position to win the game.

Grade: A-