NFL Week 7 grades: Bengals earn ‘A’ after steamy 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 rival in the AFC, but against the Falcons on Sunday, the defending AFC champions 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 Burrough brings his A game, and Burrough definitely brought his A game on Sunday. Joe Cool threw for 481 yards and three touchdowns during a dominant 35-17 home victory over the Falcons.

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

What 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 on his third pass of the game.

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

Chase didn’t add to his total Sunday, but did score two touchdowns, both of 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 when he finished with eight catches for 130 yards. Not to be outdone, Boyd actually topped Chase’s total with 155 yards on eight catches.

The Bengals came up just seven yards short of having THREE different receivers finish with 100-plus yards. Tee Higgins caught five passes for 93 yards in the game. And that’s what makes the Bengals’ offense so dangerous: When all three receivers are healthy, that offense is nearly 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 look better and better every week.

The Bengals have flown under the mark through the first seven weeks of the season, and frankly, they probably like it that way. The defending conference champion usually has a target on their back next season, but somehow that target ended up with the Bills and Chiefs in a season where the Bengals have just been quietly going.

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 suits this team – their next game is on Halloween.

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

Cincinnati 35-17 over Atlanta

Falcons-Bengals Grades by John Breach (Love Grades? Hate Grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Washington 23-21 over Green Bay

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

Carolina 21-3 over Tampa Bay

Buccaneers-Panthers Grades by John Breach (Love Grades? Hate Grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Baltimore 23-20 over Cleveland

Browns-Ravens Grades by John Breach (Love Grades? Hate Grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Dallas 24-6 over Detroit

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

Tennessee 19-10 over Indianapolis

Titans-Colts Grades by Jordan Dayani (Love Grades? Hate Grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

NY Giants 23-17 over Jacksonville

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

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