ReFo: Bengals @ Buccaneers, Week 13
Even when a team takes a grip on the AFC North they can’t manage to do it convincingly, such is the way of that division this year. That’s exactly what Cincinnati did though with a win this week while the rest of the division faltered in various different ways.
The Bengals were able to survive Andy Dalton’s best efforts to throw the game away and even their own defensive backs refusing to catch balls thrown right at them as Josh McCown led a futile attempt at a game winning drive at the death.
In the end they emerged with a one-point victory, which is all they’ll care about. Let’s take a look at the standouts.
Cincinnati Bengals – Performances of Note
Andrew Whitworth, OT, +5.6
Breakdown: If Joe Thomas is the standard bearer for elite left tackle play in the NFL then Andrew Whitworth is a pretty good imitation. One of the league’s most underrated players, Whitworth was at his best in this game, shutdown as a pass protector and a dominant run blocker.
Signature Stat: In 33 pass blocking snaps Whitworth was perfect with his protection.
Adam Jones, CB, +1.3
Breakdown: Adam Jones played OK at corner, but what interested me in this game was his work as a punt returner. The Bucs seemed to deliberately target the fact that Jones never fair catches, hanging the ball up down the middle and almost getting him killed a couple of times with gunners hammering him at full clip.
Signature Stat: The last time Adam Jones fair caught a punt (before his one in this game) was 2006, before PFF even existed.
Russell Bodine, C, -3.7
Breakdown: When you face Gerald McCoy you are likely to have some struggles, but Bodine didn’t just have issues with the stud defensive tackle. Akeem Spence and Da’Quan Bowers also had success against him at points in the game.
Signature Play: Q4. 4:01. Despite double team help to begin with Bodine allows Akeem Spence to work off his block and make a tackle for a short gain on the play.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Performances of Note
Danny Lansanah, LB, +6.2
Breakdown: This was one of those games where it felt like every play was Lansanah making a stop, and it almost was! He finished with 15 tackles, one assist and 12 defensive stops while playing well against both run and pass.
Signature Stat: Lansanah led the team with 12 defensive stops. The next best figure was three, from Akeem Spence.
Josh McCown, QB, -4.9
Breakdown: Remind me why the Bucs benched Mike Glennon for Josh McCown? Was it the old ‘better chance to win’ chestnut? If so, they need a rethink, because two of his final three passes alone on the final attempt at rescuing the game were dropped interceptions thrown to defensive backs.
Signature Stat: The Bucs should think themselves lucky the Bengals only blitzed five times. When they did McCown’s passer rating was 1.7 and he completed as many passes to the Bengals (1) as he did his own players.
Garrett Gilkey, C, -8.6
Breakdown: This falls into the category of games to forget for Gilkey. His snaps were off, fumbling twice by dribbling the ball back along the ground and lobbing several more dangerously low. He was flagged four times, either for holding or false starting, and then you get to his actual snap to snap play, which was far from pretty.
Signature Play: Q3, 8:39. Here Gilkey is caught reaching for his block, beaten immediately and can’t even prevent the run being blown up by holding, which gets flagged too. Nightmare play.
PFF Game Ball
It may have come in a losing effort, but the display put forth from Danny Lansanah was immense in this game. Was a huge reason the Bengals couldn’t just grind out the game late on and the Bucs had chances to mount a comeback.
Follow Sam on Twitter: @PFF_Sam