During their individual study of the highest-graded individual performances of the 2011 regular season, Pro Football focus graded Andre Smith‘s week 16 performance against the Arizona Cardinals as the 4th-best offensive lineman performance by a right tackle during the NFL season:
4. Andre Smith, Cincinnati Bengals: Week 16 vs. Arizona (+5.6)
It hasn’t always been easy for Smith inCincinnati, but he made it look that way against a lackluster Cardinals team. He didn’t give up a single pressure and earned five positive grades in the run game without a single negative play.
The performance was even sweeter given that it was late in the year with a spot in the playoffs on the line, proving that Smith can be counted on in big-game situations after it looked like he would be a bust prior to this season.
Smith has come a long way from his first two NFL seasons in which he played in a combined 13 games and started in only 5 of them. Last season, he played and started in 14 games and was part of an o-line that thrived in pass protection that tied for fourth in NFL in fewest sacks allowed at 25. With last year being his first full season as a starter, he should only improve this season as the Bengals look to take the next step in winning the AFC North.
Tags: 2012 NFL Draft AFC North Andre Smith Cincinnati Bengals Free Agency Free Agent Front Office News Marvin Lewis NFL NFL Draft NFL News NFL Offensive Line NFL Offensive Tackle Nflnews Pro FOotball Focus