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.
Joe Mixon, Running Back
The Bengals as a team were a dumpster fire last Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. Mixon was a bright spot in the disaster though. Gashing the defense with 14 carries for 89 yards on top of his 7 receptions for 66 yards, the Browns had no answer for Mixon. If the Cincinnati defense had not looked like butter trying to stop a hot knife, his day may have been even better. The Bengals were forced to throw way too much because of the awful defense but Mixon still shone through. He is well on his way to the upper echelon of running backs in the NFL.
Carlos Dunlap, Defensive End
The only player to show any sort of passion or desire in that performance against the Browns was Dunlap. He looked nearly unblockable at times in the second half and single-handedly brought Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield back down to earth a little bit. Another season of solid, consistent play for Dunlap in 2018 turned into something else for a time during that blowout loss to Cleveland. He played like a man possessed who was refusing to be embarrassed in a rivalry game. Thank you to Carlos Dunlap for being the only player on that putrid defense that looked like he wanted to win.
Jeff Driskel, Quarterback – Driskel stepped into a nasty situation and looked extremely competent. Played aggressive, unlike the man he replaced.
Tyler Boyd, Wide Receiver – Outside of Mixon and Dunlap, Boyd is the only one who played like he wanted to win.
Cedric Ogbuehi, Offensive Tackle
Injuries to Cordy Glenn and Jake Fisher forced Ogbuehi onto the field, and it went about how we all expected. Lined up against star pass rusher Myles Garrett, Ogbuehi was beaten just about every play. Garrett simply overwhelmed him and the quick releases of Bengals quarterbacks were the only thing that saved them. Bengals nation needs to hope and pray to the football gods that Ogbuehi doesn’t see another snap all season.
Jordan Willis, Defensive End
Mayfield had his way with the Bengals linebackers in the passing game, but we know they’re terrible and expected nothing less. Something that could have lessened the attack on those linebackers was a good pass rush. I mentioned that Dunlap was the only one that appeared to have any sort of passion, Willis was the opposite. There were plays where he shot off the ball like a bullet, but he did absolutely nothing with those tremendous first steps. He seems perfectly content with locking up with whichever offensive linemen he lined up against. Those offensive tackles are among the worst in the league; Willis made them look like All-Pro’s.
The Linebackers – The entire group was a dud but there isn’t much else to say about them. They’re the worst you’ll see in professional football.
Hue Jackson – Get rid of this man. An opposing player intercepts a ball during a blow out loss, runs over and hands the ball to him, and all Jackson does is smile and pat him on the helmet. That’s pathetic and so is the energy around the Bengals, especially since Jackson was brought back into the fold.