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.

Studs

Christian Ringo, Defensive Tackle

Who? Christian Ringo was signed by the Bengals after a season-ending injury to another in season signee in Adolphus Washington.  Signed to be a rotational piece, Ringo made his presence known in just his second game for the Bengals.  The stat sheet doesn’t show it with just half a sack but he spent his afternoon in the Chargers backfield. Eating up double teams, penetrating and harassing Phillip Rivers, Ringo was constantly pushing the pocket.  He played with a high motor that has been missing from the Bengals defense all season.  Ringo is looking like a great in season pick up for Cincinnati.

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.

Honorable Mentions:
  • 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.

Duds

The Linebackers

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.

Honorable Mentions:
  • 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.

Kenny Guthrie is a Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage Bengals. Like and follow on

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