Grading the Bengals: at Batimore Ravens


Sep 7, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) runs with the ball during the third quarter Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Cincinnati Bengals defeated Baltimore Ravens 23-16. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals pulled out a game that many didn’t expect them to win and, after leading 15-0 at half, almost let slip away. Here are the grades for the Offense, Defense, Special Teams, and Coaching Staff from Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Offense: B
The Cincinnati Bengals were able to get into field goal range a number of times, but were unable to finish a drive in the first half. The play of Andy Dalton was consistent and solid though. They also did not allow a turnover, which was a huge problem last year. A low third down conversion percentage hurt their grade, but a huge pass to A.J. Green to retake the lead, after giving up 16 straight points, made up for their first half finishing issues.

Defense: B+
The Cincinnati Bengals defense held strong and was solid in the first half, as they shut down the Baltimore Ravens offense. They didn’t really allow too many opportunities until the exit of Pro Bowl linebacker Vontaze Burfict with a concussion. The defense was able to hold the Ravens offense at the end of the game and with an interception from linebacker Emmanuel Lamur they were able to end threats to win. They forced 2 turnovers and held a strong.

Special Teams: A-
Mike Nugent made 5 of 6 field goals and led the team in scoring on Sunday. They held Jacoby Jones to 1 yard on 2 punts and an average of 27.3 yards on 4 kickoff returns. Adam Jones return a punt for 45 yards and it wasn’t called back on a penalty, something they struggled with last year.  Only negative for the unit on the day was the blocked field goal by former Bengal safety Jeromy Miles.

Coaching Staff: B+
The game was well managed and Paul Guenther and Hue Jackson had a solid first showing in their regular season coordinating debut. Marvin Lewis was able to get his first win in Baltimore in 5 years. It was a well welcome start to the Bengals season for this coaching staff.

The Bengals played well and the coaching staff didn’t get embarrassed after the Ravens threatened to spoil the Bengals second season opener in a row, when they lost late in the game against the Bears last season to start.