Jan 5, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans running back Arian Foster (23) is pushed out of bounds by Cincinnati Bengals middle linebacker Rey Maualuga (58) during the first quarter of the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Measuring Rey Maualuga's Shortcomings

 

Anyone who watched the Bengals this season with any regularity saw the shortcomings of middle linebacker Rey Maualuga, as his lack of speed allowed tight ends and runningbacks to torch him for big plays in the passing game, as he finsihed the 2012 season as one of the worst coverage linebackers according to Pro Football Focus’ new signature stats article based on First Downs Allowed:

Most First Downs and Touchdowns Allowed

Name Team First Downs TDs 1st Downs & TDs
London Fletcher WAS 33 5 38
Rey Maualuga CIN 35 2 37
Perry Riley WAS 26 6 32
K.J. Wright SEA 29 1 30
Lavonte David TB 26 4 30
Karlos Dansby MIA 28 2 30
Chad Greenway MIN 29 1 30
Jasper Brinkley MIN 26 3 29
JoLonn Dunbar SL 24 5 29
Craig Robertson CLV 26 1 27

The Cincinnati Bengal middle linebacker didn’t help his chances of earning a big deal as he approaches free agency for the first time in his career. The former second-round pick was beaten for a linebacker-leading 35 first downs, though his two touchdowns surrendered ensured he wasn’t the worst offender.

 

The soon-to-be free agent isn’t expected to be back in Cincinnati next season, and it’s unlikely wherever he goes, he’ll be anything more than a backup. It’s a sad fall from grace for the former 38th-overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft after many analysts rated him as the best inside linebacker in that draft.

 

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