As the Jacksonville Jaguars visit the Cincinnati Bengals, something must give in the trenches, an area where both clubs struggle.
Despite praise for guys like Bobby Hart coming from the coaching staff, the Bengals’ offensive line has been woeful in the early part of the season. There are many metrics that show that. However, simply put, Joe Burrow has been sacked more than any quarterback in the NFL to this point.
There is no way to spin that positively. Although, in Cincinnati’s defense, they have had to deal with guys like Joey Bosa, Myles Garrett, and Brandon Graham so far. Those are a few of the best and most well-established pass rushers the NFL has to offer.
The Jaguars offer the Bengals’ offensive line a chance at redemption
Thankfully for Joe Burrow, Jacksonville comes to town this week. Former first-round pick Josh Allen seemed ready to join the guys in the last paragraph. Yet, he has only one sack in 2020, although he racked up 10.5 as a rookie last year.
In fact, the Jaguars only have three sacks as a team all year. Sacks are not the only way to measure the effectiveness of a pass rush. Still, a number that low means that the Jaguars are not making quarterbacks uncomfortable at all.
Sacks allowed isn’t the only way to get a feel for offensive line play either, but the Bengals giving up 14 in the first three games is pretty telling. Poor Joe Burrow is running for his life every week.
That is where this week’s matchup is most interesting. To a certain degree, every NFL game is decided in the trenches at the line of scrimmage. But that will be even more true in this game on Sunday. The Jags’ defense has struggled almost as much as the Bengals’ offense upfront.
The struggling unit that gets going will be the team that controls and wins the game. If there are any remnants of “Sacksonville” left, we will find out Sunday. Zac Taylor says his offensive line is playing above its current perception. We will find out if there is any ring of truth to that claim on Sunday as well.