Bengals in Hawaii

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Oct 14, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals guard Kevin Zeitler (68) during a game against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Cleveland won 34-24. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE


Kevin Zeitler: The rookie guard has been phenomenal all season for Cincinnati, and one of the better picks from the entire draft. He has been solid in the running game, and masterful at pass-blocking. Bengals fans can tell you he’s been one of the better players on the team, and Pro Football Focus grades him as one of the league’s best guards. However, most casual football fans don’t follow the position very well, or know what makes a great one. Furthermore, because he’s not a household name, there will be a lot of people who just don’t know who he is. Zeitler deserves to go to Hawaii, but might come up short.

Andrew Whitworth: Whit is in the opposite position as his rookie line-mate. He has had a bit of a down season, but name recognition might help him make it. By no means has he been terrible, but certainly, he hasn’t played up to his own past standards. There are other left tackles who might deserve the honor over Whitworth, but he has a very good shot at making the team anyway.

Michael Johnson: Carlos Dunlap might be the best pass rushing defensive end, but it’s Johnson who has the numbers, tallying eight sacks so far this season. As teams have had to account for Dunlap and Atkins, Johnson has taken advantage. The question is whether or not numbers alone are enough. Among DEs in the AFC, he’s high on the list in terms of sacks, but again, he’s not well-known, which probably hurts him, with more popular options available. He probably won’t make it.

Others: Other possibilities include Clint Boling, who has been terrific and underrated at left guard, Leon Hall, who has been solid, but doesn’t have an INT, and Pacman Jones, who has, while under-the-radar, been fantastic both in coverage at CB and in the return game.There will likely be just a couple of Bengals to make the Pro Bowl, with a couple of possible alternates, but there are lots of cases to be made, which has to please Bengals fans. I know it made my ballot interesting.

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