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.
Christian Ringo, Defensive Tackle
Who? Christian Ringo was signed by the Bengals after a season-ending injury to another
Interior Offensive Line
Running back Joe Mixon deserves a lot of credit for the 111 yards and a touchdown on the ground. However, there were plays up the middle where Mixon wasn’t touched for about two or three yards. Those were displays of dominance at times by the trio of Trey Hopkins, Billy Price, and Alex Redmond. They relocated the line of scrimmage throughout the game. The group even held up relatively well in pass protection. There were lapses but for the most part, quarterback Jeff Driskel had room to step up into the pocket. The Bengals were able to sustain drives and grind out tough yards on the ground thanks to the efforts put forth by those three players.
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- Carlos Dunlap, Defensive End – Dunlap wreaked havoc on the poor Chargers tackles all game long. He is leading a rejuvenated defense.
- Joe Mixon, Running Back – Yes, some of the credit goes to his offensive line, but Mixon was a monster in his own right. He used excellent vision to find the holes and create on his own at the second level.
The Chargers walked up and down the field on their first two drives. A lot of that can be attributed to the abysmal play of the Bengal linebackers. Slow to react and extreme passiveness allowed L.A. to run the ball at will. The defense as a whole played their best football of the season after those first two drives. It would have been even better if the middle of the field had not been wide open for wide receivers, running backs, tight ends, basically whoever the Chargers sent to that area had free reign. The lack of athleticism and basic football instincts were on full display.
Jeff Driskel, Quarterback
The man has been forced into a bad situation and responded pretty well. But there were throws that he should have made and sacks he should have avoided. Driskel made the easy throws for the most part but made many moderately difficult throws look so much harder than they actually were. His lack of pocket awareness killed the team. It’s painfully obvious that a sack was the last thing he should have let happen on a potentially game-tying two-point conversion attempt. Game experience may help all those things but Driskel is showing us all why he is a career back up.
- Darqueze Dennard, Cornerback – He did have some nice plays but really struggled against one of the best wide receivers in the NFL in Keenan Allen for most of the afternoon.
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