Bengals versus Patriots: Five Bengals to Watch

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Andrew Whitworth is number one on our Bengals versus Patriots Watch List. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Whitworth

NFL games are often decided in the trenches and this game will likely be one of those games.  The Bengals’ offensive line has been near perfect through three games.  They’ve yet to allow a sack while only allowing one QB hit; a play where the Falcons sent an all-out blitz at Dalton, which he turned into a 76-yard touchdown with a perfect throw to Mohamed Sanu.  In case you forgot…

Ironically, a play where Andrew Whitworth was the one who got beat.  Whitworth won’t want to make that mistake again this week as the Patriots possess some fierce pass-rushers.  His primary responsibility will be one of the league’s best, young pass-rushers in Chandler Jones.  Jones, the youngest brother of both Arthur Jones of the Indianapolis Colts and Jon “Bones” Jones, the mixed-martial arts champion, uses his combination of size and speed to move past defenders with relative ease.  Last year, Whitworth had a mediocre game against him as Jones finished with a half sack and a QB hit.

Whitworth may have to fair better this year as Jones is off to a solid start having already accumulated 2.5 sacks, three TFLs, four QB hits, and two PDs.  Making matters more complicated, the Patriots aren’t shy about blitzing Dont’a Hightower, who occasionally does so from Whitworth’s side of the line.

Whitworth’s impact on Sunday may be paramount amongst the offensive line.  The Patriots have a talented front seven, but none possess the disruptive skills of Jones.  If Whitworth can hold down Dalton’s blind side, it’ll allow his fellow linemen to focus on their responsibilities while helping Dalton settle in during prime time.