Cincinnati Bengals Week 10 Grades: vs. Cleveland Browns

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Nov 6, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns tight end Gary Barnidge (82) makes a catch while being defended by Cincinnati Bengals free safety Reggie Nelson (20) during the third quarter at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Safeties: C+
Outside of a miscommunication and being slow to get into coverage on short fields, this was one of the few units that deserved praise. Iloka led the team with seven tackles and one assist while Reggie Nelson was in on three tackles and five assists, not to mention tipped balls and pass defending across the middle. I could argue that they deserve a slightly higher grade if not for another Reggie Nelson missed interception opportunity. He did however perfectly re-enact a Troy Polamalu line jump to help prevent a quarterback sneak in the endzone during the third quarter.

Cornerbacks: C-
They missed assignments, left receivers wide open across the middle, and well, at times, just got plain beat. They did however stay aggressive and made some strong plays, like Adam Jones’ tip in the back of the end zone. Yet, they still need to do better as they dropped two or three turnover opportunities and allowed too many big plays. Maybe they should study what the Browns did and take a lesson in coverage.

Linebackers: B-
They didn’t miss many second level tackles and outside of Geno Atkins, were credited for most of the pressure applied to Brian Hoyer. Short of great special teams, they were one of the few reasons the Bengals still had a shot after halftime.

Defensive Line: C
Geno Atkins had the play of the night when he broke through the line to interrupt a run play, tackling Hoyer before he could hand the ball off. A few strong plays late helped their grade, but missed tackles and little pressure on Brian Hoyer contributed greatly towards the crumbling of Bengals’ defense.