News & Analysis

Refocused: Cincinnati Bengals 26, Detroit Lions 17

By PFF Analysis Team
Dec 24, 2017

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A resurgence from running back Giovanni Bernard helped the Cincinnati Bengals outlast the visiting Detroit Lions on Sunday, 26-17. Bernard totaled 168 yards and one touchdown on 30 touches as the focal point of the Bengals’ offense. Quarterback Andy Dalton also contributed 238 yards through the air with wide receiver A.J. Green standing out as his go-to target with a team-high 81 receiving yards.

Conversely, the Lions’ ground couldn’t get anything going, and quarterback Matt Stafford couldn’t mask his offense’s rushing woes. He completed just 19-of-35 passes for 203 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

With that, we give you our PFF-exclusive takeaways from the contest for each team.

Top 5 Grades:

Edge Michael Johnson, 85.9 overall grade

CB William Jackson III, 85.8 overall grade

Edge Carlos Dunlap, 85.1 overall grade

G Alex Redmond, 84.2 overall grade

T Eric Winston, 83.8 overall grade

Performances of Note:

LT Clint Boling, 39.9 overall grade

Boling is not the solution at left tackle for the Bengals anytime soon. He allowed a sack, a hit, and two pressures on the day along with a handful of other losses in pass protection.

G Alex Redmond, 84.2 overall grade

In the most extended action of Redmond’s young career, the second-year guard impressed. He rotated in on 48 snaps and didn’t allow a single pressure. Redmond was also the highest-graded run blocker on the Bengals’ offensive line on the day.

CB William Jackson III, 85.8 overall grade

Jackson didn’t allow a catch for the second straight week. He’s now allowed eight yards into his coverage since taking over as the starter in Week 13. He was targeted three times and had one pass breakup.

LB Jordan Evans, 34.0 overall grade

Evans’ 16 snaps on Sunday were a nightmare. He allowed 59 yards and a touchdown before he was injured for the game. If that wasn’t enough, Evans missed both his tackle attempts.

Top 5 Grades:

Edge Dwight Freeney, 83.0 overall grade

LB Jarrad Davis, 82.2 overall grade

DI Akeem Spence, 79.9 overall grade

QB Matt Stafford, 79.7 overall grade

Edge Ziggy Ansah, 79.2 overall grade

Performances of Note:

QB Matt Stafford, 79.7 overall grade

The stat line didn’t flatter Stafford by any means, but it’s hard to call him the reason Detroit lost this one. His interception came as he was hit, and he suffered from two crucial drops on third down from his receivers.

G Don Barclay, 28.2 overall grade

Barclay single-handedly derailed the Lions’ offense at times in this one. He had two false starts, allowed five total pressures, and was the lowest-graded player in the entire game.

CB Darius Slay, 61.4 overall grade

Slay vs. A.J. Green was must-see TV. Both got their shots, as Slay broke up two passes and forced an offensive pass interference on another. At the same time, Slay yielded 81 yards on 6-of-9 targets and missed two tackles while covering Green.

DE Dwight Freeney, 83.0 overall grade

On only 18 pass rushes, Freeney put on the clinic for Clint Boling. He went to the inside spin move twice, and it worked both times for a hit and a hurry

PFF Game Ball: William Jackson III, CB

William Jackson, cornerback, Cincinnati Bengals

*Grades subject to change

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