Bengals beat writers Paul Dehner Jr. and Fletcher Page review the team’s 24-21 loss at the Baltimore Ravens.
Kareem Elgazzar, email@example.com
Each week during the season we will dive inside the advanced analytics thanks to our friends at Pro Football Focus who track every player, every game to compile tangible metrics of NFL performance used by all 32 NFL teams.
This week the Cincinnati Bengals (5-5) host the Cleveland Browns (3-6-1) on Sunday. The Browns are coming off a bye week and victory against Atlanta at home in their first contest after firing head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley.
Let’s take a deeper analytical look at both teams.
Cordy Glenn. The Bengals left tackle has now given up 31 pressures on the season, a number only two shy of most on the team behind Alex Redmond (33). He’s had a rough go of it the past two weeks in pass protection. In losses to the Saints and Ravens he’s allowed a total of nine pressures and two sacks. Glenn is still an upgrade and stability at the spot over last year, but he’s been far from an upper echelon tackle. And pressure will be on this week lining up across from Myles Garrett.
Sam Hubbard. The rookie defensive end produced a sack, hit and two hurries against Baltimore. Not bad at all considering he was only in for 12 pass-rushing snaps against the run-first Lamar Jackson offense. He spent more time pushed outside than some of the previous games when he’s spent a lot of his playing time lined up on the interior. He’s been far more effective off the edge than any success against centers and guards at only 260 pounds.
Pressure doomed Andy Dalton against Baltimore. When given a clean pocket on Sunday he played some of the best football of the year. Dalton was 17 of 25 passing for 174 yards and two touchdowns. That made for a 76 percent adjusted-completion percentage number after two drops. His NFL passer rating was 114.4. When under pressure, however, Dalton completed just two of 11 passes for 37 yards. He threw one ball away and was hit as thrown on another. That made for an NFL passer rating of 41.1. Quite frankly, the offensive line wasn’t able to protect long enough, often enough to let Dalton pick apart the Ravens secondary.
Opponent numbers of note
QB Baker Mayfield. He’s been far and away the top performer of the five first-round rookie quarterbacks this season. He leads the collection of Josh Rosen, Josh Allen and Sam Darnold in grade, completion percentage, touchdowns and yards per attempt. All the while he’s been victimized by 20 of his passes dropped by his struggling receiving corps.
OG Kevin Zeitler. The former Bengals guard has played solid this season, particularly in pass protection where he’ll see a steady diet of Geno Atkins on Sunday. He’s allowed only eight pressures in 458 pass-blocking snaps. His pass-blocking grade of 91.0 leads all NFL guards. His run-blocking grade brings his overall number down to the 11th-highest-graded guard in the league.
LB Joe Schobert. The 27-year-old Wisconsin product has quietly been one of the most productive players on the Browns defense. He went down with injury in Week 6 but returned in Cleveland’s last game against Atlanta. He’s been solid in coverage, allowing only seven receptions in 15 targets and is one of the leaders on the team in stops with 15.
Premium stat of the week
No group of receivers have more drops this year than the Browns. Nobody has proven a bigger offender than sixth-rounder Antonio Callaway. Of qualifying receivers, he ranks fifth in the NFL in drop rate at 17.1 percent.
As for notable Bengals on that list, John Ross is ranked the highest at 11th overall with a rate of 13.3.
The Browns’ tight end David Njoku actually leads Cleveland with seven drops on the year.