CIN-BUF Grades: Bengals' O-line wins in trenches, Dalton continues strong play
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Bengals’ 34-21 win over the Bills in Buffalo:
– For the fifth time in six weeks, TE Tyler Eifert (+3.0) earned a positive grade. This one came as a balanced game, earning positives in receiving as well as pass, run, and screen blocking. He caught all four targets, including his sixth touchdown of the year.
– It was an impressive display up front by the Cincinnati offensive line, particularly in pass protection against one of the best front fours in the league. QB Andy Dalton (+0.4) was pressured on just six of 33 dropbacks, with the offensive line being charged for two pressures. Andrew Whitworth (+2.0) extended his streak of 23 games without allowing a sack, and 21 without allowing a hit.
– Last year’s first-round pick CB Darqueze Dennard (+2.5) put forth the best game of his career on a career-high 48 snaps. His big play was his first career interception, but he was also targeted just two other times in the game. On 32 snaps in coverage, he allowed one catch for 5 yards on a third-and-17. Hopefully, his performance will earn him some more playing time so we can see if he can continue to play well.
TE Tyler Eifert (+3.0)
WR Marvin Jones (+2.6)
CB Darqueze Dennard (+2.5)
RG Kevin Zeitler (+2.2)
RT Andrew Whitworth (+2.0)
– The offseason addition of LG Richie Incognito has really helped solidify the Bills’ offensive line. His +3.2 overall grade was his fifth of +2.0 or higher in six weeks, and should keep in among the top guards this season. He did not allow any pressure for the fourth time this season, and has allowed just two hits and two hurries on 230 dropbacks in 2015.
– E.J. Manual (-1.2) didn’t play to the level we have seen from Tyrod Taylor so far this year. He did have a few nice throws, but he threw a poor interception and had an even worse throw dropped by Bengals’ CB Adam Jones (+1.5). That said, he has shown improvement compared to his first two years in the league. On the ten dropbacks he was pressured, he completed four-of-seven for a touchdown and a 122.0 passer rating.
– Overall, the Bills have had pretty good play from the secondary leading up to Week 6. However, CBs Ronald Darby (-1.8), Stephon Gilmore (-0.2), and Nickell Robey (-1.4) all earned negative grades in coverage against Dalton and company. Darby had been especially great this season, and while he avoided giving up any big plays, he did miss two tackles and allowed multiple first downs.
LG Richie Incognito (+3.2)
TE Chris Gragg (+2.3)
C Eric Wood (+1.8)
WR Sammy Watkins (+1.2)
LB Manny Lawson (+1.2)