SD-CIN: Bengals’ offensive line posts shutout in win

The top takeaways from Sunday’s San Diego-Cincinnati game, including the highest-graded players for each team.

| 1 year ago
andrewwhitworth

SD-CIN: Bengals’ offensive line posts shutout in win


The top takeaways from Sunday’s San Diego-Cincinnati game, including the highest-graded players for each team:

San Diego Chargers

– The Chargers have a whole new interior offensive line this season after adding free agent guards Orlando Franklin (-4.1) and Chris Hairston (-5.1). This was a day to forget for the pair, though, after they combined for a -9.2 grade in this game. Franklin gave up two sacks and three hurries, after giving up just a single sack and 11 combined pressures in 2014. Hairston, meanwhile, gave up a single sack, but was also the Chargers lowest-graded run-blocker (-1.7) and gave up three penalties. It’s fair to say that the Bengals won the battle in the trenches when San Diego had the football on Sunday.

– Considering the struggles of the interior, Chargers running backs had impressive games against Cincinnati. Rookie first-rounder Melvin Gordon (+1.3 on 29 snaps) was decisive on his carries and showed the power that made him such an effective college back. He added three forced missed tackles on 16 attempts, and had an impressive 3.6 yards after contact per attempt. Gordon acts as a good compliment to Danny Woodhead (+2.6 on 32 snaps), who gained over five yards per carry and forced three combined missed tackles (one rushing, two receiving). The combination of Gordon and Woodhead will be a threat this season in both the run and pass game.

– The Chargers defense looked light on pass rushers coming into the season, and that’s proved to be the case through the first two games. LOLB Melvin Ingram (-5.2) had a terrible game against the Bengals. He was shutout as a pass rusher and committed a pair of penalties. In run defense, he made just a single stop but missed two tackles. Finally, he graded as the worst Charger in coverage with a -1.9 grade. Overall, it was a day to forget for Ingram, who has a lot of pressure on him to disrupt opposing QBs this season.

Top Performers:

HB Danny Woodhead (+2.6)
LT King Dunlap (+2.1)
TE Ladarius Green (+1.9)
SS Jimmy Wilson (+1.6)
WR Stevie Johnson (+1.3)
WR Malcom Floyd (+1.3)
HB Melvin Gordon (+1.3)

Cincinnati Bengals

– The performance of the Bengals’ offensive line was the polar opposite of the Chargers’. Rarely have we seen such a dominant performance by an offensive unit. The five starters combined for a +20.8 grade, with all players recording shutouts in pass protection. C Russell Bodine (+4.8) was the most effective offensive lineman in terms of run blocking, recording a +4.0 grade. He was the standout of a dominant group, however, with all lineman recording +1.0 grades or better. If the Bengals line continues to play like this, they’ll take all the pressure off Andy Dalton, which can only be a good thing.

– DT Geno Atkins (+5.1) might be back to his best. He was disruptive throughout the game against the Chargers and now has a +11.6 combined grade from just 99 snaps. Atkins did his best work in Week 2 as a pass rusher, recording two sacks and two hurries from just 26 run snaps. He also generated significant penetration against the run, even if he didn’t record as many tackles around the line of scrimmage that he would have liked. With Atkins in this sort of form, it’s no surprise the Chargers’ interior offensive line struggled.

– DE Wallace Gilberry (+2.8) was highly productive in his sub-package role against the Chargers. He recorded a pair of stops in just eight run defending snaps and recorded a sack, hit, and hurry in just 19 pass rush snaps. His task is to generate some consistency; too often in 2014, Gilberry followed up good games with poor ones. Gilberry exceeded the production of Michael Johnson, who had only a solitary hurry in 27 rush snaps and doesn’t look like the same player who had such a good season for the Bengals in 2013.

Top Performers:

DT Geno Atkins (+5.1)
C Russell Bodine (+4.8)
RT Andre Smith Jr. (+4.6)
LG Clint Boling (+4.4)
LT Andrew Whitworth (+3.6)

| Analyst

John joined the PFF team in 2008, providing focused analysis on the NFL draft, team-building strategies, and positional value.

  • Zack23

    I don’t know if it’s a good thing or bad thing when 4/5 of your top performers are OL. But a win is a win!

    • Daniel Connaughton

      Are you nuts?

      • Zack23

        Why what’s crazy about wanting your QB or other skill positions in in your top 5?

        • Daniel Connaughton

          It all starts up front my brother.

          • Zack23

            How many games are the Cowboys going to win with an A+ line, but without Romo and Dez?

          • Daniel Connaughton

            I’d have to take a look at their schedule. But more than if they lost their starting left tackle and center.

          • Zack23

            lol ok

          • Seth Angel

            It looks like you’re going to get to find out since they are both out for the next two months. Give me a consistent OL/DL and I can get whatever skill positions to produce. This is one of the reasons other teams in the AFC North have been so consistently good (read Steelers and Ravens). These teams can put anyone at RB and they will produce. As examples, Bell gets suspended and the Steelers sign Deangelo Williams who has been underwhelming for a decade in Carolina. In 2 weeks he’s the 2nd best RB in the league in yards gained. Also, Ray Rice gets suspended and dropped by the Ravens and they go get Justin Forsett last year. He’s a perennial backup never getting more than a few hundred yards in a season but he blows up for 1200+ in his first year in Baltimore. Good blocking and good coaching is how you have successful skill players. And just to beat a dead horse, the Cowboys had Murray breaking records last year but dropped him because of $$ issues. He goes to Philly where he’s got questionable play calling and inconsistent line pressure and has been a non-factor.

            There’s a reason the good RBs give their OLs a big end of year gift. They know who is responsible for their success.

          • Zack23

            Yes we all know the lack of value in RB. Daniel’s reply is that Dallas can win more games without Romo/Dez than without LT/C and that’s just ridiculous.

          • Blatant_Bolt

            More than if they had Romo and Dez and the worst OL in the league.

          • Zack23

            Not likely

          • Zack23

            Browns win 5 games a year with Mack and Thomas. Colts win 11 with Luck and no O-line.

  • Chgolaw

    Any system that has Alex Smith as a top 10 QB is full of BS. Period.

  • josper

    I’m hoping the Bengals OL played as well as those grades because I don’t want to believe the Chargers front 7 was that bad

    • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

      te’o, ingram, and reyes were the worst players at their respective positions for week 2

      • josper

        yeah they were punked. at least in ingram’s case it was up against a dominant LT and not just sucking