Grading the Bengals Offense: Postseason

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Running Back: The Bengals running game wasn’t bad this season, but it wasn’t great either. BenJarvus Green-Ellis was as advertised, showing a knack for picking up short yardage and protecting the ball, but limited in his ability to take a game over. He broke a couple of long runs, but lack of speed means he won’t do it often. He would work best as part of a rushing tandem, along with a back who has speed, allowing The Law Firm to provide a pounding to finish off games. Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden has said this will be a focus, and hopefully it is. The other backs on the roster are nice complimentary players, with Brian Leonard as a nice receiving option and the rest as solid special teamers. Grade: B-

Wide Receiver/Tight End: A.J. Green established himself as one of the best WRs in the NFL in 2012. He improved on his rookie numbers in every category, recording 97 receptions, for 1350 yards and 11 TDs. His propensity for making highlight reel catches is quickly becoming legendary in Cincinnati, making him a fan favorite. He is only limited by his QBs ability to get him the ball. There is also reason for optimism behind Green. Rookies Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu both showed flashes of being very good receivers in the league, and might both be draft day steals. Andrew Hawkins is another fan favorite, with game changing ability due to his elusiveness and dangerousness in space. At tight end, Jermaine Gresham has the ability, but his drops, especially in big situations, have earned him the ire of many fans. The playoff game featured a couple of drive-ending drops that could be the last straw. Orson Charles is young and needs to round out his game to see more playing time. Overall this position is well-stocked, and ready to be a strength of the team for quite some time. Grade: A-

 

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