SEA-CIN Grades: Hot-handed Andy Dalton continues to shine

The top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Bengals’ 27-24 overtime victory over the Seahawks.

| 1 year ago
Andy Dalton

(AP Photo/Gary Landers)

SEA-CIN Grades: Hot-handed Andy Dalton continues to shine

Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Cincinnati Bengals’ 27-24 overtime victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

Seattle Seahawks

– It was a rare afternoon of coverage breakdowns and missed tackles for the Seahawks secondary (seven total missed tackles for the starters, including one negated by penalty) as they gave up a number of big plays to Cincinnati. Wide receiver Marvin Jones (-0.3) was left wide-open streaking through the secondary early in the first quarter before a communication breakdown left tight end Tyler Eifert (+3.8) open for a touchdown on the very next play. Throw in a negated 72-yard touchdown that featured a missed open-field tackle by free safety Earl Thomas (+0.3), and it was a first quarter to forget for the Legion of Boom.

– Among the culprits in the secondary were CB Cary Williams (-4.1) and SS Kam Chancellor (-4.6). Not only was Williams targeted seven times, surrendering five catches for 73 yards and a touchdown, but he was also flagged for two downfield pass interference penalties which could have made matters worse. Meanwhile, Chancellor was on the receiving end of 11 targets, surrendering nine catches for 102 yards. He was a part of a miscommunication resulting in the first-quarter Eifert touchdown catch, and he also was isolated on WR Mohamed Sanu for a 25-yard gain on a slant.

– The offense was sparked by rookie running back Thomas Rawls, who finished with 169 yards on 23 carries, good for his third consecutive positive grade (+2.5) filling in for the injured Marshawn Lynch. He ran through and around the Bengals’ defense on his way to a 69-yard touchdown run, but even on the additional 22 carries, Rawls did a nice job of finding the open hole in Seattle’s zone blocking scheme.

Top Performers:

OLB K.J. Wright (+3.2)

QB Russell Wilson (+3.2)

OG J.R. Sweezy (+3.2)

RB Thomas Rawls (+2.5)

DE Frank Clark (+1.8)


Cincinnati Bengals

– It was another outstanding outing for QB Andy Dalton (+4.2), as he continued to throw accurately down the field. Whether hitting WR A.J. Green (+2.6) in-stride on the negated touchdown, or putting the ball in a great spot on Eifert’s sliding catch late in the fourth quarter, Dalton made big-time throws all afternoon to finish with another strong grade (+4.2).

– Cincinnati’s pass rush was a two-man show, as DT Geno Atkins had his way with the interior of Seattle’s offensive line, registering one sack and six hurries on his way to another overall positive grade (+3.3) and placing him second for the season (+21.2) at the position behind only St. Louis DT Aaron Donald (+24.9). DE Carlos Dunlap also came up big, while getting the better of right tackle Garry Gilliam (-2.0) throughout the afternoon with two sacks, one hit, and two hurries for his fourth positive grade (+2.6) in five starts. This is Dunlap’s best five-week stretch to start a season since 2011.

– As for Eifert, he remains our No. 2 overall tight end (+8.3) after another huge performance (+3.8). He caught both touchdowns up the seam, and his sliding catch late in the fourth quarter set the Bengals up for their game-tying field goal. Eifert’s receiving grade (+7.0) trails only Rob Gronkowski (+8.9) through five weeks of the season.

Top Performers:

QB Andy Dalton (+4.2)

TE Tyler Eifert (+3.8)

DT Geno Atkins (+3.3)

DE Carlos Dunlap (+2.6)

WR A.J. Green (+2.6)

| Senior Analyst

Steve is a senior analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has been featured on ESPN Insider, NBC Sports, and 120 Sports.

  • Nik Hildebrand

    Dalton’s interception was **awful**, but outside of that play he was great.

    • Riffle,Rod&Fly

      It really was. Also, we have to take into account that one Dalton INT is equal to about ~4 Matt Stafford INT’s, 5 Carson Palmer’s, 10 Russell Wilson turnovers and 12 Matt Ryan’s.

      • Sam

        Haters lmao

  • Zack23

    Cary Williams was horrible to watch. And Kam had cement feet on both Eifert TDs, didn’t even move.

    Dunlap came up big with that sack in OT. Figured the D would be gased by then but they stepped up.

    Props to Andy for that game-tying drive. And to special teams for the fire drill kick – getting on the field, set in formation, and get the kick off with just 10 seconds on the clock.

  • Evan DiPan


  • Riffle,Rod&Fly

    The way the Seahawks ran all over the Bengals D for 3 1/2 qtrs brought about flashbacks of the 2013 Season Wildcard game. Cincy showed the grit it takes to overcome. It was refreshing. Thanks for the ride but lets not let ourselves get down like this again!

  • Jason Williams

    I don’t know who is playing QB for the Bengals this year but that is not the Andy Dalton that I have grown to know and love…

  • AKjester

    Dalton made some amazing throws to beat very tight coverage. Cary Williams struggled in the first quarter, but many of the receptions he gave up were not due to his coverage.

  • Malachi

    i thought dalton’s audible to a QB sneak out of an empty formation for an easy TD run was absolute genius, good job by everyone in CIN for having that ready and practiced too