A pair of Bengals were named to the Pro Football Focus Team of the Week, highlighted be offensive tackle Andre Smith, who along with the rest of the o-line, paved the way for the team’s best rushing performance this year while protecting Andy Dalton very well. He was sacked four times, but those were more due to him holding onto the ball and not throwing it away.
As PFF analyzed in another article, the Bengals have gotten great production form the o-line as a whole all season long:
LT Andrew Whitworth’s (+2.4) one early blip in pass protection was a sack and declined holding penalty against DE Chandler Jones, but that was it for the day. He exacted some revenge on Jones in the running game as he washed him down the line at the 2:27 mark of the fourth. On the other side. Andre Smith notched a team-high +4.9 grade as he surrendered just a lone sack as well while grading at +2.9 as a run blocker. His double team with RG Kevin Zeitler blew DT Chris Jones right off the ball with 11:32 to go in the fourth quarter, and he followed it up by taking DE Jake Bequette 3 yards into the end zone on the next play. The Bengals continue to get strong play from both offensive tackles.
Defensive tackle Geno Atkins was an honorable mention for his play:
The tone was set right from the Patriots’ first drop-back, as Atkins knifed into the backfield for the sack ahead of LT Nate Solder’s downblock. The Bengals’ defensive line came to play despite not having DE Michael Johnson and his +13.6 grade through four games. Gilberry stepped up in his place, playing a season-high 23 snaps at defensive right end, grading at +2.2 along the way. He notched five pressures (2 sk, 2 ht, 1 hu) on his 38 rushes and added two stops in the running game. We’ve already discussed Atkins who put together his second consecutive excellent game at+5.3. He finished with two sacks (one negated) and three hurries while grading at +3.2 against the run.