Every week will bring win or losses. Those wins and losses will all have stand out players and players that underwhelm. Studs and Duds will highlight two players from each of those categories after every game. If there is a particularly bad game, there may be an extra dud and likewise for good games and the studs.
A.J. Green, Wide Receiver
Another week, another obvious stud for the Bengals’ offense. A.J. Green went off in the first half of this game. His first three catches all went for touchdowns and he looked unstoppable. Green cooled off in the second half but still finished with 5 catches for 69 yards and 3 touchdowns. I highlighted Green against Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey as a key matchup for this game and sure enough Green caught one of his touchdowns against Humphrey. The Bengals moved Green around the formation and he did some major damage from the slot matched up against a smaller corner in Tavon Young. Greens’ second touchdown came against Young in the slot where he literally threw Young off his back before running into the end zone. Green is a top-five wide receiver in the NFL and will without a doubt be listed as a stud more than once this season.
Cordy Glenn, Left Tackle
It feels as if there is no one talking about how good Cordy Glenn has been for the Bengals in the first two games. How quickly people have forgotten the disaster the Bengals had at left tackle last season in Cedric Ogbuehi. Glenn has been a wall on quarterback Andy Dalton’s blind side, especially against the Ravens. Dalton had 4 touchdown passes in the first half and that can be attributed to the greatness of A.J. Green and having all the time in the world to throw. Glenn had to deal with linebackers Terrell Suggs and Matthew Judon, two very good pass rushers. Whichever player lined up across from Glenn was erased and basically irrelevant on passing downs. He also spent the night mauling people and opening holes in the run game. Fans, players, and coaches had better take notice, Glenn is a force to be reckoned with on the left side.
- Tyler Boyd, Wide Receiver – Boyd is becoming the safety net for Andy Dalton. He is finding ways to get open and had a big game against Baltimore with 6 catches for 91 yards and a touchdown.
- Alex Redmond, Guard – Redmond is still struggling with penalties but had a strong game Thursday night. He showed massive improvements as a pass protector and manhandled a very good Ravens defensive line in the run game.
- Sam Hubbard, Defensive End – Hubbard was all over the field and recorded his first career sack.
John Ross, Wide Receiver
John Ross was a ghost in week two. It appeared that Andy Dalton didn’t even look his way very often when Ross got on the field. With a drop and lost yardage on an end around run, Ross was downright bad against the Ravens. Yes, Green and running back Joe Mixon are focal points but there is no reason Ross shouldn’t be getting some looks. Looking at the All-22 Coaches Film, it is easy to see why he wasn’t targeted much. Ross struggled to separate from man coverage and couldn’t find the soft spots in zones. The Bengals need Ross to step up as a big play option to really open up the offense.
Nick Vigil, Linebacker
There were some highlight plays for Nick Vigil against the Ravens. Unfortunately, when I went back to watch the All-22, the lowlights outnumbered those highlights. Vigil again struggled in coverage at times against the tight ends. The Bengals pass rushers managed to cover that up to an extent by getting in quarterback Joe Flacco’s face so he couldn’t find those tight ends as often. There were plays where he was out of position because he would bite on play action and be a step behind. He also had a very bad habit of taking one step in the wrong direction on run plays because he is so slow to diagnose plays at times. After looking so good against the Colts, Vigil really struggled in week two.
- Bobby Hart, Right Tackle – I will put Bobby Hart with the duds until he proves me otherwise. While not as blatantly bad against the Ravens, he was still the worst lineman on the field by a mile.
- Dre Kirkpatrick, Cornerback – Kirkpatrick made some nice plays so he’s not quite one of the duds of the week. With that being said, he gave up a touchdown, had a huge pass interference penalty, and let a clean interception go right through his hands before halftime. He was also burnt on a few other plays but Flacco either didn’t see it or had pass rushers in his face before he could throw it.