Bengals News

Bengals report card through first quarter of the 2022 season

By Christopher Kokaliares
Miami Dolphins v Cincinnati Bengals
Miami Dolphins v Cincinnati Bengals / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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Hayden Hurst

While his stats are even less eye-popping than Boyd's, Hurst has been a very good safety valve for Burrow to dump it off to when the pocket begins to break down and Higgins and Chase are smothered.

He showed with his first catch of the night against the Dolphins that he's not one to go down easy, and he's clearly a very passionate player by the way he throws his head around when he makes a catch.

The Bengals didn't sign Hurst expecting him to put up Travis Kelce-level production, they signed him to be a good tight end that Burrow can look to every so often to keep the chains moving, and so far he's done a very good job of it.

While he doesn't give the same emphatic speeches that Uzomah did, Hurst is still good for what he is and should fit in nicely with the rest of this offense going forward.

For now, Hurst earns a B- for his first four games in orange and black.

Offensive Line

If we were just talking about the first two games, I'd give this revamped offensive line an F and go on with my day. However, they finally are looking like what was promised this offseason.

After a horrible start where they gave up 13 sacks in just two games, the O-Line has bounced back against the Jets and Dolphins, only allowing three sacks between those two weeks. Giving Burrow a clean pocket is a must if this team wants to continue having playoff aspirations, and these last two games have shown that they can do that.

Of course, we have to keep in mind we're working with very small sample sizes, whether that be you think them playing good or bad was a fluke, however, I'll remain optimistic and say that they're finally starting to turn a corner when it comes to pass blocking.

They will have to face better defensive lines as the season goes on, but if they can hold up against them then the worries about Burrow being sacked constantly can finally start to go away.

Still, you have to take their first two games into account, so I will give them a C- overall. If they continue to play like they have the last two games and avoid injury, their grade will shoot up. We'll have to see.

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