Last week I took at look at some of the key offensive players that the Cincinnati Bengals would have to stop in order to lay claim to the AFC North crown. The ability to slow down the opposing teams’ star players is key to making a return trip to the postseason. However, it is equally important to be able to move the ball and to put up points of their own against divisional rivals. Therefore, this week, I’ll be taking a look at some of the players who will be standing in the way of the Bengals offense. I’ll start in Pittsburgh.
Polamalu has been one of the top safeties in all of football since he was drafted in the 1st round of the 2003 NFL Draft. His ability to fly all over the field making plays, combined with an uncanny nose for the football have made him a fan favorite and a yearly Pro Bowler, with a trip in seven of his nine seasons. He’s also a four-time All Pro and was the Defensive Player of the Year in 2010. His accomplishments will most likely land him in the Hall of Fame after his retirement, and it will be deserved. As for the Bengals, Polamalu has played well against them, with five interceptions, a sack, and a couple of touchdowns, not to mention a large number of pass breakups and big hits. Polamalu is closer to the end of his career than the beginning, and his hitting has taken its toll, but he is still a huge weapon on defense, and maybe it’s most important player. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton must know where he is on the field at all times, or he will make another big play against a Bengals QB, something he has proven he can do very well.