ReFo: Ravens @ Bengals, Week 8
The Ravens and Bengals entered Week 8 at completely different points in their respective seasons. The Ravens had won five of six after losing their home opener to the Bengals and had taken over first place in the division. Meanwhile, Cincinnati struggled after their Week 4 bye, going 0-2-1 with their two losses by a combined 53 points.
It was a tough, close game throughout. The Ravens made a couple great defensive plays in the fourth quarter, but were only able to get a field goal off of the last Cincinnati turnover. The Bengals made crucial plays on their last drive as the Ravens were unable to make the final stop they needed to seal the win.
Here are a few players that stood out for each team.
Baltimore Ravens — Performances of Note
Haloti Ngata, DE: +4.1
Breakdown: It has been awhile since Ngata has been worthy of mentioning among the best defensive lineman due to relatively mediocre play the last few season. Although he is not in that ‘elite’ echelon of 3-4 defensive ends, Ngata is playing at a level and consistency we have not seen from him since 2010. He picked up a sack, a hit, and a hurry on 21 pass rushes, as well as a forcing a fumble against Andy Dalton.
Signature Stat: Ngata’s 11.9 Pass Rushing Productivity was his highest since Week 16 of last season.
C.J. Mosley, ILB: +2.0
Breakdown: Mosley’s stellar rookie season continued with another positive performance on tape. He allowed one first down through the air and another by the way of pass interference, but he also forced four stops in coverage. Add in a run stop and two hurries and it was a solid performance all-around.
Signature Stat: After earning a -2.5 overall grade through the first two games, Mosley has had positive grades in five of the last six games for a cumulative +12.8 since Week 2.
Joe Flacco, QB: -5.9
Breakdown: Flacco’s second interception was not his fault, but two bad decisions, coupled with several inaccurate throws downfield, led to as poor of a performance that we have seen from him this season. He completed just three of 10 passes 10-plus yards downfield, and had a season low 58.1% Accuracy Percentage.
Signature Play: With 4:18 left in the first quarter, Flacco makes his first of two poor decisions on the day. After he is unable to evade pressure, Flacco sends a late and lofted pass out to the flat that could have resulted in an interception had Marquis Flowers not bobbled the ball on his way to securing the catch.
Cincinnati Bengals — Performances of Note
Mohamed Sanu, WR: +2.7
Breakdown: Slated as the number one wide receiver again this week with A.J. Green still inactive, Sanu put forth his second great performance in the last three weeks. Four of Sanu’s five receptions went for first downs and on the one pass that did not, he forced two missed tackles to pick up extra yardage.
Signature Play: Sanu started and finished the game in similar fashion. On the fourth play of the Bengals’ first drive, Sanu makes a one-handed catch that saves a Dalton overthrow, and is also able to avoid a tackle while hauling in the catch to pick up another 27 yards. Then on third and 10 late in the fourth quarter with the game on the line, Sanu makes a good adjustment on the deep ball to pick up the first down and move Cincinnati well into Baltimore territory.
Emmanuel Lamur, LB: +1.9
Breakdown: A great play in coverage along with a few positive run defense plays gave Lamur the highest grade of his career and the only Bengal with a ‘green’ run defense grade.
Signature Play: Just after the start of the second half, Lamur reads Flacco well and is able to break on the pass for his second interception of the year.
Giovani Bernard, HB: -1.3 Rush Grade
Breakdown: Bernard’s struggles continue as he once again could not get much going in the run game. His longest run was for 8 yards and averaged just 1.3 yards after contact. He did not get the greatest help up front, but he did not show the elusiveness and ability to just make a play like we saw from him last year either.
Signature Stat: Bernard failed to force a missed tackle, on rushes or receptions, for the first time since Week 8 of last season.
PFF Game Ball
With A.J. Green still ailing, Mohamed Sanu stepped up and made multiple game-changing plays, including the big gain on third down on the Bengals’ game-winning drive.