BAL-CIN grades: Bengals’ pass-rushers limit Joe Flacco

Highest-graded players and top takeaways from the Bengals' Week 17 win over the Ravens.

| 5 months ago
Carlos Dunlap, Dre Kirkpatrick

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

BAL-CIN grades: Bengals’ pass-rushers limit Joe Flacco

Cincinnati Bengals 27, Baltimore Ravens 10

Here are the top-graded players and biggest storylines from Cincinnati’s Week 17 win over Baltimore.

Cincinnati Bengals

Quarterback grade: Andy Dalton, 67.6

Dalton efficient, if not flashy in win

Dalton’s day lacked flash, but his efficiency was key to Cincinnati’s win. He was better than his 64.3 percent completion percentage indicates, as he had two throw-aways, one spike, and one drop. While he struggled under pressure (56.3 QB rating), he only dealt with Baltimore’s rush on seven of his 31 dropbacks and had a QB rating of 111.0 when given a clean pocket.

Andy Dalton vs pressure

Top offensive grades:

LT Andrew Whitworth, 82.2

G Kevin Zeitler, 78.9

WR Cody Core, 78.1

WR Brandon LaFell, 77.6

TE C.J. Uzomah, 76.7

Offensive line shuts down Baltimore’s pass-rushers 

The Bengals where charged with just three total QB pressures yielded on the day, two of them coming from RT Jake Fisher. LT Andrew Whitworth was one of three Cincinnati offensive linemen with a clean sheet in pass protection, and also led the Bengals with an 82.4 run-blocking grade. WRs Cody Core and Brandon LaFell had excellent days, combining for 11 catches on 16 targets for 149 yards receiving, 98 of them coming after the catch.

Top defensive grades:

CB Dre Kirkpatrick, 84.2

DE Carlos Dunlap, 84.1

LB Vincent Rey, 80.5

DT Geno Atkins, 79.9

LB Karlos Dansby, 79.9

Bengals’ pass-rushers put the heat on Flacco

DE Carlos Dunlap and DT Geno Atkins ended their season on a high note, as they combined for two sacks, two hits, and nine hurries against the Ravens. Dunlap also led the front-seven with an 80.5 grade against the run. On the back end, CB Dre Kirkpatrick gave up six receptions, but it took 10 targets for Baltimore to accumulate those completions; he surrendered just 52 yards and had a pass break-up.

Baltimore Ravens

Quarterback grade: Joe Flacco, 52.5

Flacco can’t dig Ravens out of hole

With the run game struggling and the scoreboard working against him, Joe Flacco was forced to drop back 52 times and was under constant pressure from Cincinnati’s pass-rushers. He was pressured on 20 of those dropbacks, completing just nine of 17 throws against the rush for just 74 yards, taking three sacks. As if the lack of a running game didn’t make the Ravens one-dimensional enough, Flacco attempted just two passes to the left of the numbers, completing one for 7 yards. Only 11 of his 49 attempts traveled at least 10 yards through the air, and he completed just four of those for 53 yards, no scores, and an interception.


Top offensive grades:

LT Ronnie Stanley, 83.4

C Jeremy Zuttah, 77.0

G Marshal Yanda, 76.9

TE Dennis Pitta, 75.7

WR Breshad Perriman, 71.2

Right side of offensive line struggles all day in pass protection

RG Vladimir Ducasse and RT James Hurst both had awful days trying to protect Flacco, as they combined to give up 12 total pressures between them. While both posted overall grades under 50.0, the Ravens have to be happy with the way rookie LT Ronnie Stanley finished his season, as he gave up just two hurries and led Baltimore’s line with an 80.3 run-blocking grade. TE Dennis Pitta caught 11 balls on 16 targets, but averaged just 8.3 yards per catch and had a long catch of just 16 yards.

Top defensive grades:

S Eric Weddle, 84.6

CB Jerraud Powers, 79.5

ILB C.J. Mosley, 73.1

DT Brandon Williams, 70.8

LB Patrick Onwuasor, 56.6

Weddle finishes year strong; rest of Baltimore’s defense does not

S Eric Weddle did not give up a catch on the lone throw into his coverage on the day, and he also tallied a QB hurry and two defensive stops. OLB Za’Darius Smith was the only Raven to post multiple pressures against the Bengals (two hurries), and three of the seven total team pressures were unblocked due to the design of the defense.

PFF Game-Ball Winner: Carlos Dunlap, DE, Bengals

PFF’s player grading process includes multiple reviews, which may change the grade initially published in order to increase its accuracy. Learn more about how we grade and access grades for every player through each week of the NFL season by subscribing to Player Grades.

| Analyst

Josh joined PFF as an analyst in 2015. During the season, his primary focus is college football (mainly the Big Ten). He is also heavily involved in PFF's NFL draft coverage. Prior to joining the team, he worked for six years with GM Jr. Scouting, an independent draft scouting service.

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