It was hard to decipher what constituted “Ugly” and what constituted just “Bad” but suffice to say, there were plenty of both.
The Offensive Line – After 2 games of improved play, the line fell on its’ collective face in Pittsburgh against a poor run defense missing 2/3 of their starting d-line. 3 poor performances stood out to me.
- Andrew Whitworth – After pumping him up all last week and referring to him as the best and most athletic guard in the NFL, Whitworth looked like a rookie guard against the Steelers. He had 2 penalties for 15 yards (false start and holding) and constantly was getting beat in the run game and ending passing plays in Dalton’s lap. I am not concerned about Whitworth going forward, but to have a leader like him play so poorly in a big game like that was very disappointing.
- Kyle Cook – In the spirit of the Christmas season, atop the Bengals wish list needs to be a center not named Kyle Cook or Eric Ghiaciuc. Though he escaped this week without a penalty (a rare occurrence for Cook), he managed to continue sucking at keeping opponents out of the Bengals backfield.
- Andre Smith – Certain players concern you with how they will play once they get a contract. Andre Smith would fall into that category. After a very good year in 2012, Smith has had a less than impressive 2013. Smith had another penalty (false start) and continues to lack the effectiveness he showed in 2012 in both the run game and passing game.