Jackson Carman delivers impressive first start at left tackle

Cincinnati Bengals v Denver Broncos
Cincinnati Bengals v Denver Broncos / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Bengals started Jackson Carman at left tackle for the first time in his pro career against the Bills in the divisional round and the results were overwhelmingly positive.

Carman was a second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and despite playing left tackle at Clemson, the Bengals opted to kick him inside to guard since they already had Jonah Williams at left tackle. Well, after Williams went down in the Wild Card game, Carman was the next man up and he answered the call in his debut at left tackle.

Jackson Carman gives Bengals hope at left tackle

The storyline of this game was that Cincinnati was battered along the o-line and some people (COUGH Eric Weddle COUGH) gave them zero chance to beat the Bills because of this. Not only was the o-line not an issue, but they played their best game of the entire season.

Maybe the snow made it easier for this group to protect Joe Burrow or maybe this unit finally gelled and learned how to be dominant. Either way, Carman deserves a ton of props for what he did on Sunday. It couldn't have been easy to step into the starting lineup during the playoffs after the team seemingly gave up on you earlier in the season. Carman put all of that behind him though and balled out.

If Jonah Williams is able to return this weekend, he'll likely get the nod at left tackle but the Bengals might want to explore the option of having Carman there in the future. He never got a chance to play his preferred position and he balled out on Sunday on the biggest and brightest stage (which happened to be his birthday as well).

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Maybe it was just one good game for Carman and he struggles this weekend but right now, he deserves his due diligence.