Bengals News

Bengals vs. Browns: Three X-factors in the Battle of Ohio

CINCINNATI, OHIO - DECEMBER 29: The line of scrimmage of the Cincinnati Bengals against the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium on December 29, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - DECEMBER 29: The line of scrimmage of the Cincinnati Bengals against the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium on December 29, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals, Michael Jordan, Jonah Williams, Bobby Hart (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Bobby Hart and the Bengals’ offensive line

The Cincinnati front office did not make any significant changes to the offensive line over the offseason even though that was one of the biggest areas of need based on their 2019 performance. Instead, they pumped money into other areas and made it clear the offensive line was right where they wanted it. The first game of 2020 showed this was faulty logic.

Joe Burrow began his foray into the NFL against near-constant pressure and was being harassed by Joey Bosa and Co. all afternoon. This made it difficult for the rookie signal-caller to set his feet and get used to the speed of play. Outside of his final drive, Burrow struggled to string together passes, preventing him from finding his rhythm.

If the Bengals are going to have success this season on offense, they are going to need the trenches to step up and perform well. Many players on the unit graded out well according to PFF but ended up having terrible splits for passing situations. For instance, Bobby Hart had an average grade of 63.9, but that was elevated by an 82.4 run-blocking score. A 46.0 pass-blocking showed one reason Burrow was unable to really focus. The Bengals’ offensive line will have to play better to give Burrow the time he needs.

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