Refo: Falcons @ Bengals, Week 2

One of these QBs posted a big green grade. John Maney discusses their performances and more as he looks at the Falcons-Bengals Week 2 matchup.

| 3 years ago

Refo: Falcons @ Bengals, Week 2

2014-REFO-WK02-ATL@CINWhat was a tight game for most of the first half turned into a comfortable Bengal win, as they broke it open with three touchdowns in just over 10 minutes from the end of the second to mid-third quarter. Like in their opening week win in Baltimore, the Bengals did just enough on offense, while the defense shut down the opponent.

Conversely, the Falcons played nothing like the team that edged the Saints a week ago, looking unstoppable at times on offense. As they always do, turnovers played a big role as Atlanta coughed up the ball twice (with an additional turnover in garbage time).

Let’s take a look at some of the standouts.

Atlanta Falcons – Performances of Note

Levine Toilolo, TE: -3.5

Breakdown: Like Tony Gonzalez often was, Toilolo proved a liability in the run game against the Bengals; he was beaten for several stops on the afternoon, most of them coming at the hands of Carlos Dunlap. Unlike Gonzalez, Toilolo provided little in the passing game, catching two passes for just 13 yards.

Signature Play: At 3:05 of the first quarter, Toilolo was beaten by Wallace Gilberry down the line for a tackle-for-short-gain.

Matt Ryan, QB: +0.3

Breakdown: Ryan nearly did more running than he did passing, picking up 28 yards three scrambles up the middle, two of which went for first downs. Passing was more a mixed bag with his good throws, like the one at 3:12 of the third, too often followed up by bad ones – see the interception two plays later. A long way from the form he showed in Week 1.

Signature Stat: The quarterback was 7-of-20 on passes over the middle, beyond the LOS.

Robert Alford, CB: -2.0 and Desmond Trufant, CB: +1.4

Breakdown: Gambling will eventually get a player burned, which is what happened to Alford at 11:09 in the third quarter, as he whiffed going for the pass defense, allowing Mohamed Sanu a walk-in 76-yard touchdown. Trufant, on the other hand, was able to get his hands on an Andy Dalton pass at 12:41 of the second, following up his big Week 1 with another strong game.

Signature Stat: The second-year CB duo combined to allow four catches and 135 yards on eight targets.

Cincinnati Bengals – Performances of Note

Leon Hall, CB: +4.1

Breakdown: When healthy, Hall is one of the best slot CBs in the league and he showed why on Sunday. Hall saw plenty of action with eight balls thrown into his coverage, but he held the Falcons to just five completions for 31 yards on those plays, getting his hands on two of them.

Signature Play: One of the two aforementioned plays came at 1:18 of the first when he read the throw and jumped the route to knock the ball away.

Geno Atkins, DT: -1.1

Breakdown: Slowly working back to his pre-injury form, Atkins saw the field for 46-of-69 snaps, but without his usual dominant impact. He only notched a pair of QB hurries in 39 snaps rushing the passer, while his work against the run was mixed.

Signature Stat: Through two games, Atkins has a Pass Rushing Productivity rating of 4.9. Comparatively, he had a rating of 9.3 before going down last year, following a ridiculous 12.7 in 2012.

Andy Dalton, QB: -0.1

Breakdown: This was a solid, if unspectacular, performance by Dalton, who threw for 253 yards on 15-of-23 passing. He was off target early on with a string of overthrows midway through the first quarter and into the second, but he seldom put the ball in harm’s way and heated up in the second half. His TD to Sanu was superb, the kind of throw under pressure that will warrant the big contract.

Signature Stat: Dalton has been pressured on just 16% of drop-backs through the first two weeks.

PFF Game Ball

While Mohamed Sanu has a case with his pair of big plays, this one goes to Carlos Dunlap, who was a large part of the Cincinnati effort in shutting down the high-powered Atlanta offense. Dunlap notched six pressures rushing the QB, a PD dropping back into coverage, along with three stops.


Follow John on Twitter: @John_Maney

  • Chris batte

    In the premium stats section Dalton is listed as a – 0.1 for this game.

    • John

      Fixed (typo).

  • Evan

    As much as I appreciate PFF stats, I can’t imagine anyone watching this game believing Ryan had a better game than Dalton. It’s just one of those quirks where the grading doesn’t come anywhere near the eye test, mostly because Ryan got a good grade for avoiding some rush even though he made some very poor throws that were put in harms way (see 3 turnovers).

    • Chris batte

      I had the same comments this morning. I think the ratings should be looked at again. Its almost faulting Dalton for being efficient and placing the ball in the right places and allowing for players to make plays. He had a few bad overthrows but none were risky. Ryan had 2 really bad picks it may have seemed like garbage time but they were trying to stage a comeback that could have been possible being down 2 TDs. If the score was 41-0 I would consider that garbage time.

      • John

        Despite the marginally lower overall grade, Dalton had the higher passing grade (+0.9 vs +0.1).

        • Chris batte

          On the premium stats it has Dalton listed as +0.1 passing and Matt Ryan -0.9 passing. It has Ryans rating going up because of his rushing stats. I think rushing stats for a Pocket passing QB should not have that great of an effect of a Pocket Passing QBs overal rating.

          • Andreas Haakshorst

            Sorry, I don’t understand. Why exactly should 30 yards gained on the ground be less worthy if it comes from a pocket QB instead of a running QB? Or less worthy than 30 passing yards? The result is exactly the same, isn’t it?

          • Chris batte

            Guys like Kaep or Cam who run consistently and have plays drawn up 6-10 times a game should have that part of their game graded to average out 100% towards their overall player performance. A guy like Dalton or Ryan who runs maybe 2-3 a game should have maybe half of that count towards their overall performance. Grading Dalton as a -.7 based off of 2 plays brings his Overall performance grading down greatly. The Reverse effect happened for Ryan. Based off of one play a pocket passing QB who had a miserable day throwing the ball and doing his job had a not so miserable overall score.

    • Chris batte

      The INT to Hall was a great play by Burfict. Not really on Ryan. The 2 picks to Iloka were clearly awful throws and they impacted the game greatly.

    • Bengal Ben

      Put Dalton behind that awful oline and let a good DLine rush him all day.

      Just Saying.

  • Kenneth Taylor

    no mention of Iloka? Two interceptions and he also knocked the ball out of Julio Jones’ hands on what would otherwise have been a big Atlanta TD.

  • MiDKnighT

    The grade on Lamar Holmes makes absolutely no sense. You gave him a positive grade when he was beat all day by Karlos Dunlap (who is your game MVP). Also Cinci D gets credit for 2 sacks, 6 QB hits, and 16 hurries. Meanwhile Atlanta offensive players surrendered 0 sacks, 5 hits, and 10 hurries. What the heck! Stuff like this makes PFF look retarded.