3 Bengals players that must step up in the playoffs

Leigh Oleszczak
Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals
Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals / Kirk Irwin/GettyImages
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The Cincinnati Bengals begin their quest toward a second-straight Super Bowl appearance and they'll kick things off against the Baltimore Ravens in a rematch of Week 18. These two teams just faced each other on Sunday afternoon and will square off again this Sunday night in the Wild Card round.

If the Bengals want to reach the Super Bowl for the second time and win the whole dang thing this time, these players need to step it up.

All grades courtesy of PFF

Entire OL

I thought about just including Hakeem Adeniji and Max Scharping but let's be real here -- The entire Bengals offensive line needs to be better as the team enters the playoffs. Those two are stepping into an incredibly difficult situation, yes, but they have to rise to the occasion and be ready for what's ahead of them.

Jonah Williams leads the league in sacks allowed with 12 and has surrendered three sacks over the past two weeks. He's going to have to be better.

Cordell Volson has been a nice surprise as a rookie fourth-rounder and might be the starting left guard of the future for this team. He surrendered a sack in Week 18 but that was his first allowed since Week 11. The North Dakota State product has been playing pretty well honestly.

Ted Karras is the star of the o-line now that Alex Cappa is out. He's surrendered just two sacks all season. He probably doesn't need to be included here but the o-line works as a unit so here he is.

Scharping is replacing Cappa at right guard and struggled in pass-protection last week. He was going up against some really good pass-rushers though and for the most part, when he's been out there this season, he's played okay.

Adeniji stepped in for La'el Collins in Week 16 and since he's taken over at right tackle, he has not given up a sack. That's promising but can he continue that into the postseason?

Joe Burrow got demolished in the playoffs last season because his o-line couldn't protect him and while the front office went to work fixing the unit, the injuries were out of their control. The Bengals really need Scharping and Adeniji to be the next men up and keep Burrow upright.

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