During their individual study of the highest-graded individual performances of the 2011 regular season, Pro Football focus graded Andre Smith‘s week 16 performance against the Arizona Cardinals as the 4th-best offensive lineman performance by a right tackle during the NFL season:
"4. Andre Smith, Cincinnati Bengals: Week 16 vs. Arizona (+5.6)It hasn’t always been easy for Smith inCincinnati, but he made it look that way against a lackluster Cardinals team. He didn’t give up a single pressure and earned five positive grades in the run game without a single negative play."
The performance was even sweeter given that it was late in the year with a spot in the playoffs on the line, proving that Smith can be counted on in big-game situations after it looked like he would be a bust prior to this season.
Smith has come a long way from his first two NFL seasons in which he played in a combined 13 games and started in only 5 of them. Last season, he played and started in 14 games and was part of an o-line that thrived in pass protection that tied for fourth in NFL in fewest sacks allowed at 25. With last year being his first full season as a starter, he should only improve this season as the Bengals look to take the next step in winning the AFC North.