The NFL season may be over for the Cincinnati Bengals, but the awards season is just beginning. Various media outlets, writers and even bloggers are handing at their end-of-the-year awards, but none may be more meaningful than the ones Pro Football Focus give out.
Unlike many so-called “experts” who give out awards things like popularity, reputation or just because that’s the player(s) whom they watched more of, PFF grinds through the tape as much as anyone and hands out their awards based strictly on the film.
While Bengals offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth hasn’t drawn anything more than a Pro Bowl alternate designation, he’s consistently one of the best tackles in the game, but this year, he took on another role.
Midway through the year when left guard Clint Boling went down with a torn ACL, Whitworth was forced to move from tackle down to that guard spot, and continued to perform at a Pro Bowl level there.
For his efforts, PFF named Andrew Whitworth the 1st Runner-Up 2013 Bruce Matthews Award for the NFL’s best offensive lineman:
His play at tackle was always more focused on pass protection but he became a mauling left guard, setting the tone for the Bengals with his physical play.
Overall he allowed just 23 total pressures this season and five sacks, only one of which came as a guard. He had four games of perfect pass protection where he allowed no pressure at all and graded positively for the season in every area PFF measures.
If you add together his grades for both positions he leaps towards the top of either position list and can count himself extremely unlucky to miss out on winning the award overall.