Cincinnati Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Final Game Grades and Player Analysis
The Bengals maintained their momentum against a terrible Chiefs team with a statement 28-6 win in hostile territory.
Cincinnati is now very much in contention at 5-5 for an AFC Wild Card spot this season as they will continue to try to keep up this stellar play through the duration of the season.
Let's take a look at the final game grades and player analysis from today's game in Arrowhead.
Bengals - 28
Chiefs - 6
Overall Game Grade - B
Dalton once again showed that he is the leader of this Bengals franchise by playing a very solid game against the Chiefs.
Dalton threw for two touchdowns today and rushed for another as he led his team to four scoring drives on the day.
Dalton started the game with a little bit of inconsistency as he threw a couple of errant passes early on and had three passes tipped at the line-of-scrimmage by Chiefs defenders. He then regained his composure and threw some beautiful passes to A.J. Green, Jermaine Gresham and Mohamed Sanu on scoring drives.
Dalton has now had two consecutive games without throwing an interception and seems to have hit his stride at this point in the season. It seems as though Dalton is poised to make the Bengals legitimate threats for an AFC Wild Card spot this season after dropping four straight games earlier in the year.
Dalton has shown a good amount of resilience in his second season and should be a huge threat to opposing defenses as the season continues.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis - Overall Game Grade - B+
Green-Ellis started the game slowly as he seemed to continue his three-yard-per-carry average. As the game went on, he started to catch fire and had some of his longest runs of the season.
Green-Ellis looked like his old self as he churned out the tough yards on his way to his first 100-yard rushing performance on the year. Not only did he pile on the rushing yards, but he had a one-yard touchdown scamper to go along with it.
The Chiefs rush defense is one of the worst in the league, so it is good to see that Green-Ellis is capable of taking advantage of another team's weakness.
Cedric Peerman - Overall Game Grade - A
Peerman is the most dynamic running back on the Bengals' roster. He ran for 32 yards on a fake punt and had some nice carries out of the backfield as he averaged over 10-yards per carry for the game.
Peerman showed once again how dangerous he can be in space and this should be a message to the Bengals coaching staff to allow him more touches as the season goes on.
A.J. Green - Overall Game Grade - A+
Green had over 90 receiving yards today and yet another touchdown on the season. He now has a touchdown reception in nine straight games, which is the longest current streak in the NFL.
Green seems to be virtually unstoppable at this point, and even though opposing defenses game plan for him every week, he seems to always get the upper hand.
Mohamed Sanu - Overall Game Grade - B
The Bengals seem to have finally found their receiving threat to go along with Green. Mohamed Sanu has been absolutely impressive over the last couple of weeks when starting opposite Green.
Sanu had another touchdown grab late in the game today when Dalton hit him over the middle and Sanu beat multiple Chiefs defenders into the end zone.
Sanu is proving to be a very reliable possession receiver and is starting to build a strong rapport with Dalton. Sanu should see many more starts this season as the Bengals number two wide receiver.
Jermaine Gresham - Overall Game Grade - B+
Gresham once again showed that he can be a very reliable security blanket for quarterback Andy Dalton.
Today, Gresham was able to make some key receptions to keep drives alive. He showed his amazing strength as he continued to drag defenders along with him for tough yards after the catch.
At one point, it seemed that Gresham dragged three Chiefs defenders into the end zone with him for a touchdown, only to be reviewed and reversed as his knee was down just before the goal line.
Along with Green and Sanu, Gresham is becoming a dominant force in this Bengals offense and provides a much needed physical dynamic over the middle of the field.
Offensive Line - Overall Game Grade - B+
The offensive line had yet another big day in both pass protection and run blocking. The Chiefs were unable to get consistent pressure on Dalton as he was able to exploit his time in the pocket for another big day.
The line blocked very well for the running game today as the Bengals came into the game against the Chiefs averaging only 93 yards per game on the ground.
That certainly changed today as Green-Ellis rushed for over 100 yards, Peerman rushed for over 70 yards and Dalton had a rushing touchdown on a naked bootleg.
The offensive line is starting to gel very well and has even decreased the number of holding penalties and false starts over the last couple of weeks.
If the line can continue to play the way that they have been against the Giants and Chiefs, look for the Bengals offense to continue to roll for the duration of the season.
Defensive Line - Overall Game Grade - A
The defensive line looked a little sluggish in the beginning of the game as they could not seem to contain Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles on cut-back runs. They made some adjustments after the first quarter and rendered the back mostly useless for the duration of the game.
The Chiefs offense overall was stagnant as the defensive line of the Bengals seemed to dominate the Chiefs patchwork offensive line all day.
The Bengals defensive line made a huge statement yet again that they remain one of the best units in the league at terrorizing opposing quarterbacks and remaining stout against the running game.
Vontaze Burfict - Overall Game Grade - B+
Burfict, again, had a very solid day at linebacker. He was seen making plays all over the field and continues to get off his blocks nicely and make tackles in space.
Burfict recovered a Peyton Hillis fumble early in the game as he continues to put himself in the right place at the right time.
Burfict looks to be a fixture at the linebacker position for many years going forward as he continues to prove that he belongs as a starter in the NFL.
Rey Maualuga - Overall Game Grade - C
Maualuga had a decent day today at the middle linebacker position. He maintained his assignments in the running game for the most part and was able to get off blocks easier today than he has in the past.
One constant problem with Maualuga, however, is his inability to tackle in the open field. On a short dump pass to Jamaal Charles, Maualuga could have stopped him for a 2-yard gain and force a punt. Instead, he missed the tackle and allowed Charles a 16-yard gain and a first down.
Wrapping up correctly is something that Maualuga will need to work on for his remaining games as a Bengal.
Terence Newman - Overall Game Grade - A+
Newman was easily the Bengals best defensive back today. He was in coverage against the dangerous Dwayne Bowe all day. Bowe left the game without a single reception.
Newman has really shaken off the rust over the past couple of games and it looks as though he has regained some of the form that he has lost since his early years in the league.
Leon Hall - Overall Game Grade - A
Again, the quarterbacks this week chose to throw away from Hall for the most part during today's game.
Hall has proven himself to be one of the best coverage corners in the league and rarely finds himself out of position to make a play either on the ball or the receiver.
Even though Hall does not put up gaudy numbers in the form of interceptions, it goes to show how much he is respected at the corner position by quarterbacks as they do not like to throw in his direction.
Dre Kirkpatrick - Overall Game Grade - C+
Kirkpatrick finally saw his first action of the season at the corner position late in the game Sunday.
Chiefs quarterbacks tried to pick on him when he was put into the lineup, but Kirkpatrick seemed to hold his own as he only allowed short receptions and kept himself in good positions to make a quick tackle after the catch.
Kirkpatrick certainly has a steep learning curve ahead of him to play corner in the NFL, but if today is any indication of what he may be capable of, it looks as though he could be a very serviceable corner in the future for Cincinnati.
Kevin Huber - Overall Game Grade - A
Huber had an astonishing day today as the Bengals punter. He is known for his huge leg, but also his inconsistency.
All game long, Huber delivered beautiful punts with great hang time that constantly pinned the Chiefs deep into their own territory.
Huber was a huge factor in the Bengals winning the field position battle today. The Chiefs stagnant offense could not sustain drives from deep in their own territory to even threaten to score a touchdown against the Bengals.
Kick Coverage - Overall Game Grade - A
The Bengals special teams coverage units may have had their best game of the season today as they were all over Kansas City's returners.
There were not many yards gained after the catch once a returner got his hands on the ball.
Dre Kirkpatrick also made a great play late in the game to down a Huber punt at the Chiefs 4-yard line to once again pin them deep in their own territory.
Cedric Peerman - Overall Game Grade - A
Peerman once again showed his elusiveness when given the ball in space. He was given a direct snap on a fake punt and easily carried the ball for 32 yards and a first down.
This fake punt led to a Bengals touchdown, and Peerman's great carry into Chiefs territory was the catalyst on that drive.
Coaching Staff - Overall Game Grade - B+
The Bengals certainly came into Kansas City ready to play as they gained the lead in the first quarter and never looked back.
Marvin Lewis did a great job preparing his team for a game that had let-down written all over it after a huge win against the Giants last week.
All players were ready to go out and play hard without looking past the Chiefs who came into the game with a terrible 1-8 record. This shows that this team may not be the Bengals of old and may be ready to turn the corner by beating lesser teams without any kind of setback.
Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer had his unit ready to go as he quickly made adjustments to take Jamaal Charles out of the game and force the Chiefs' quarterbacks to beat them through the air.
Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden was able to make adjustments after his players came out flat early on in the game. He was able to finally find ways to establish a running game and continue to dominate through the air to his play makers.
Special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons pulled everything out of the playbook this week as he converted another successful fake punt. His coverage units remained very disciplined as they helped the Bengals easily win the field position battle against Kansas City.