Cincinnati Bengals Week 8 Grades: vs. Baltimore Ravens


Oct 26, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals fans holds a sign in the stands during the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. Bengals defeated the Ravens 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals found their stride for all but 10 minutes on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. The Bengals offense was able to score 3 times in the end zone and Mike Nugent was a perfect two for two in the field goal department as the Bengals win 27 – 24. The grades this week reflect a much better performance by a previously struggling Bengals team.

Bengals Offense: B
Andy Dalton had his lapse in judgment on a sack that caused a fumble and return. Andre Smith got called for two holding penalties, one which was subject and occurred on the opposite side, uncalled, twice. Outside of that, the Bengals offense 0found the end zone three times. Andy Dalton counted for 266 yards passing and 2 of the three rushing touchdowns, with Andrew Whitworth with the assist on the final touchdown. Giovani Bernard had one rushing touchdown and rushed for 45 yards. Even though Mohammed Sanu had caught 2 huge passes, Greg Little’s performance should be the highlight of this receiving core. AJ Green seems to be close to returning, so this was a huge step to show that this team is more than just Dalton and Green.

Bengals Defense: B+
The pressure on Raven’s quarterback Joe Flacco was at times the best we saw all year from this defense. They did seem to bite on play action though as Flacco was able to roll out. They had two back to back interceptions to open up the second half and it proved to be huge as it counted for 10 points. They had a huge goal line stop on the Ravens first drive of the game and held them to only six first half points and who could forget the Vontaze Burfict celebration, where he threw a flag (hand towel) on himself. What was even more impressive is that Baltimore was one of the top yards gained and points scored teams in the NFL through eight weeks. It was a huge win on both sides of the ball.

Bengals Special Teams: A-
Kevin Huber had plenty of practice in last week’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts. He was probably the most relieved that he only needed three this week. Mike Nugent went two for two on field goals and made every extra point this week. Nugent was not only relieved but got some of his biggest critics off his back, including me, at least for another week.

Bengals Coaching: B+
I don’t know what was said to this team this week and at halftime, but the offense looked like a complete 180 degree turn around from last week, and this defense looked possessed for most of the game. There are still some minor adjustments that need to be made but this team looked like the Bengals we saw in week one through three.

Bengals Overall: B+
The Bengals will face Jacksonville in game two of their three game home stretch. It will be breath of fresh air if they can go 3-0 over this home stand. It will also get them to 3-0 in the division since they play the Cleveland Browns in week 10. As for now, breathe easy Who Dey Nation, the Bengals are back in the win column.