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NFL Week 7 grades: Bengals earn ‘A’ after steamrolling Falcons; ‘A+’ for Panthers; sluggish Buccaneers get ‘F’



With the Bills and Chiefs playing so well this season, the Bengals have slowly become a forgotten contender in the AFC, but against the Falcons on Sunday, the defending AFC champs put the rest of the NFL on notice that they’re still one of the best teams in the league. 

The Bengals are at their best when Joe Burrow brings his “A” game, and Burrow definitely brought his “A” game on Sunday. Joe Cool threw for 481 yards and three touchdowns during a dominating 35-17 home win over the Falcons. 

Burrow’s passing total was the highest in the NFL this year, the second-highest total of his career and third-highest total in franchise history (He set his team and career record in 2021 when he threw for 525 yards against the Ravens). 

The thing that makes the Bengals offense so dangerous is that they can score from anywhere on the field, and Burrow proved that when he hit Tyler Boyd for a 60-yard touchdown with his third pass of the game. 

When it comes to scoring on the deep ball, no team is better than the Bengals. That throw marked the 12th time over the past two seasons that Burrow has thrown a TD pass of 50 yards or more. To put that in perspective, no other quarterback has even done that eight times. When it comes to touchdown CATCHES of 50 yards or more over the past two seasons, no one is better at scoring on the long ball than Ja’Marr Chase (6) and Tyler Boyd (4), who rank one and two in the NFL. 

Chase didn’t add to his total on Sunday, but he did score two touchdowns that both went for more than 30 yards. On the first play of the second quarter, Burrow threw Chase an absolute dime that went for a 32-yard touchdown: 

Chase also caught a 41-yard score in the game on a day where he finished with eight catches for 130 yards. Not to be outdone, Boyd actually topped Chase’s receiving total with 155 yards on eight catches. 

The Bengals came just seven yards short of having THREE different receivers finish with more than 100 yards. Tee Higgins caught five passes for 93 yards in the game. And this is what makes the Bengals offense so dangerous: When all three receivers are healthy, this offense is almost impossible to stop. When you throw in Hayden Hurst (six catches for 48 yards), Joe Mixon (three catches for 33) and a slowly improving offensive line, the Bengals are looking better and better each week. 

The Bengals have flown under-the-rader through the first seven weeks of the season, and to be honest, they probably like it that way. The defending conference champion usually has a target on their back the following season, but somehow, that target ended up on the Bills and the Chiefs in a season where the Bengals are just quietly coasting along. 

After a slow start to the season, the Bengals offense has finally found its groove, and that makes Cincinnati one of the scariest teams in the NFL, and being scary is fitting for this team — their next game is on Halloween. 

Alright, let’s get to the grades for every game from Week 7. If you’re looking for a deeper dive on the Cardinals‘ wild 42-34 win over the Saints that was played on Thursday, be sure to click here

Cincinnati 35-17 over Atlanta

Falcons-Bengals grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Washington 23-21 over Green Bay

Packers-Commanders grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Carolina 21-3 over Tampa Bay

Buccaneers-Panthers grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Baltimore 23-20 over Cleveland

Browns-Ravens grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Dallas 24-6 over Detroit

Lions-Cowboys grades by Jared Dubin (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Tennessee 19-10 over Indianapolis

Titans-Colts grades by Jordan Dajani (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

N.Y. Giants 23-17 over Jacksonville 

Giants-Jaguars grades by Jeff Kerr (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Las Vegas 38-20 over Houston

Texans-Raiders grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Seattle 37-23 over L.A. Chargers

Seahawks-Chargers grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Kansas City 44-23 over San Francisco

Chiefs-49ers grades by Cody Benjamin (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

N.Y. Jets 16-9 over Denver

Jets-Broncos grades by Shanna McCarriston (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let her know on Twitter.)





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