Bengals’ Winners and Losers vs. Titans

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The Bengals offensive line have been near flawless this season. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Winner: Offensive Line

The Bengals offensive line has been just incredible thus far this season.  This line has kept Andy Dalton clean and comfortable allowing him and this offense to function as they seek to.  Through three games this year, the Bengals offensive line has given up no sacks and only one QB hit, according to ESPN.  That one hit came on this play.

The line’s leader is Andrew Whitworth, so how much does it mean to this line that the one time they get beat on the year, Dalton steps up and makes the blitzing defense pay; something Dalton has struggled with historically.  Whitworth and this line must be feeling good about that play as well as about the correlation between their performance and the offense’s performance. Yesterday, the Bengals’ offensive line was missing their starting right guard Kevin Zeitler, a first round pick from 2012.  Zeitler is the team’s best interior lineman and maybe their best overall.  He’s capable of plays like this.

In his stead, reserve guard Mike Pollak got the start.  Last year, he performed well in both Zeitler’s and Boling’s absence at different times.  This game was no different as the Bengals line did a great job of neutralizing yet another huge pass-rushing threat in Jurrell Casey.  Mike Pollak and this line should feel great about that.

There’s little doubt that this offense benefits from Hue Jackson’s play calling, Andy Dalton’s quality play, and from their many weapons producing big plays, but it seems clear that this offense goes as its offensive line goes.  Last year, this line finished amongst the best in the league.  This year, they are looking even better.