Bengals Bye Week Report Card: Offensive Line

JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 09: Center Kyle Cook #64 of the Cincinnati Bengals calls out blocking assignments against the Jacksonville Jaguars during play at EverBank Field on October 9, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

The Bengals offensive line has had its high points and its low points through the first six games of the 2011 season. They were able to keep Andy Dalton from getting sacked once against the Colts and Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith held Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis to zero tackles on the day but they allowed the Browns to sack him three times in the first half of their game in Cleveland and one of those hits actually knocked Dalton out of the game.

Here's a basic breakdown of the Bengals offensive line performance through the first six games of the season.

Week 1: 

Starters: Andrew Whitworth, Nate Livings, Kyle Cook, Clint Boling, Andre Smith

Sacks Allowed: Four -- three on Andy Dalton and one on Bruce Gradkowski

Team Rushing Yards: 139 yards

Penalties Committed by Line: Two

Week 2:

Starters: Andrew Whitworth, Nate Livings, Kyle Cook, Clint Boling, Andre Smith

Sacks Allowed: Two

Team Rushing Yards: 72

Penalties Committed by Line: Two

Week 3:

Starters: Andrew Whitworth, Nate Livings, Kyle Cook, Clint Boling, Andre Smith (Boling was replaced by Mike McGlynn in this game)

Sacks Allowed: one

Team Rushing Yards: 79

Penalties Committed by Line: One

Week 4: 

Starters: Andrew Whitworth, Nate Livings, Kyle Cook, Mike McGlynn, Andre Smith

Sacks Allowed: two

Team Rushing Yards: 171

Penalties Committed by Line: One

Week 5:

Starters: Andrew Whitworth, Nate Livings, Kyle Cook, Bobbie Williams, Andre Smith

Sacks Allowed: Two

Team Rushing Yards: 77

Penalties Committed by Line: Two

Week 6:

Starters: Andrew Whitworth, Nate Livings, Kyle Cook, Bobbie Williams, Andre Smith

Sacks Allowed: Zero

Team Rushing Yards: 94

Penalties Committed by Line: Two

The Offensive line's ability to protect Andy Dalton has been pretty solid so far this season. They have only allowed 11 sacks so far this season which ranks 13th in the NFL. It could be better but it could also be much worse.

Grade -- B-/C+: The line has been decent and they have progressively gotten better. Their pass protection has been decent to good through the first four games with the highlight being the last game against the Colts. Their run blocking has struggled at times but other times it has been okay. Even though Benson has struggled so far this season a lot of the problem has been him and not the offensive line.

Heading into the next few weeks the offensive line will have to be on top of their game because the Bengals will play some of the better defenses in the NFL. Not only will they play the Steelers and Ravens but they play the Titans (No. 9 defense), the Browns (No. 7 defense) and the Texans (No. 10 defense).

What grade would you give the Bengals offensive line through the first six games of the 2011 season?

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