The Bengals have been an up-and-down team for much of the 2012 NFL season. They’ve gone on a three game losing streak, followed by a four-game losing streak, and then followed that up with a four-game winning streak. While much of their team has been inconsistent to say the least, one are of their team has been consistent throughout, and that has been the play of the offensive line. Highlighted by the stellar NFL debut of right guard Kevin Zeitler and the ascension of Andre Smith to one of the game’s best right tackles, the o-line has played very well. That is until last week’s showing against the Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive line, as noted by Pro Football Focus:
One of the real strengths of the Cincinnati Bengals this season has been their offensive line but last night they were given real problems by a resurgent Philadelphia defensive line. Both Clint Boling (-3.9) and Andre Smith (-2.4) collected their worst single game grades of the season and Smith in particular was made to look poor by Brandon Graham on the right side of the Bengals’ line. Things didn’t get any better when the Bengals put in Dennis Roland at right tackle for one snap and the backup tackle held Brandon Graham which immediately brought Smith back onto the field. As a unit the Bengals surrendered pressure to Dalton on 15 of his 36 dropbacks and on top of the six sacks Dalton was a miserable 1-of-6 for 8 yards. The only positives that came from this pressure were a trio of scrambles by Dalton for 21 yards including a score. With a crucial return date with Pittsburgh next week the Bengals need to get their offensive line back on track during their long week of preparation.