Thursday, October 28, 2021

The grades are in: Best offensive, defensive players for Bengals in Week 7 win over Ravens


Kelsey Conway

Cincinnati Enquirer


As head coach Zac Taylor said to his team following the 41-17 win over the Baltimore Ravens, the Cincinnati Bengals played their most complete game of the season. 

Several players stepped up and led the way for the Bengals to take over as the top team in the AFC North and the No. 1 seed in the AFC. 

Here's an in-depth look at the players who stood out in the Bengals' Week 7 win over the Baltimore Ravens

Best overall offensive player: Ja’Marr Chase

Cincinnati’s star rookie wide receiver recorded eight catches for 201 yards and a touchdown against Marlon Humphrey, one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. Chase earned an 89.2 grade from Pro Football Focus and now leads the AFC in receiving yards with 754 on the year. The No. 5 overall pick is well on the way to securing the league’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

Top offensive line performance: Riley Reiff

The acquisition of Riley Reiff in free agency is proving to be one of the most important moves the team made. Reiff anchors the right side of the offensive line for Joe Burrow and he had one of his best games against the Ravens. Burrow was sacked one time against a defense that’s known for its pressure packages. Reiff earned the highest grade (74.5) in run blocking for the Bengals. Trey Hopkins and Quinton Spain were the only two offensive linemen who earned higher grades in pass blocking.

Defensive players of the game:

Chidobe Awuzie

Cincinnati has found its No. 1 cornerback in Chidobe Awuzie. There hasn’t been a week where Awuzie is a liability in defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo’s defense. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is playing at a high level finding his weapons all over the field. Awuzie limited Jackson and his receivers’ opportunities and earned an 84.2 grade in coverage. The Bengals have one of the best pass rushing units in the NFL and having Awuzie anchor the secondary is a key reason the defense is having the success they are.

Larry Ogunjobi

It’s not always flashy but Larry Ogunjobi has provided a massive boost to the Bengals’ interior defensive line. Ogunjobi and D.J. Reader are stout against the run and play with a physical mentality that sets the tone for the unit. Ogunjobi was given a 76.4 grade against the run and was Cincinnati’s highest-graded run defender according to Pro Football Focus. Outside of Lamar Jackson’s 88 yards, the Bengals limited the Ravens to 29 yards on the ground. He was also credited with three quarterback hurries.

Vonn Bell

Vonn Bell is one of the Bengals’ captains on defense and as one of the leaders of the team, how he plays carries a lot of weight for the team. Bell played his best game of the season against the Ravens, especially in the run game and applying pressure when his name was called upon. Bell was also the Bengals’ best tackler in Baltimore.

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