Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. published his top-50 NFL players through the first half of the 2011 NFL season. These are usually the kinds of articles that you scroll through only to find that you didn't see any Bengals players. You even go through it multiple times thinking that there has to be at least one Bengals player on it, right? Nope. There's 15 Steelers on the list but no Bengals.
The Bengals don't have an overwhelming presence on the list but they are represented by one player. That player is left tackle, and team leader, Andrew Whitworth. He comes in at No. 33.
Whitworth might be outplaying every offensive lineman in the NFL in 2011. It's easy to look to the addition of Andy Dalton and A.J. Green to Cincinnati's offense for the resurgence on this side of the ball.
But if it wasn't for Whitworth's rugged run blocking or ability to devour the opponent's best pass-rusher without help, the rookies' life would be far more difficult.
There's no question that Whitworth is the team's best offensive linemen and he's quietly become one of the best left tackles in the NFL. Pro Football Focus ranks him as the leagues eighth best tackle because of his ability to protect Andy Dalton's blind side (he's only allowed one sack this season).
For his pass blocking ability and his run blocking ability (there's a reason the Bengals run to the left side a lot) he deserves to be listed in the top-50 players through the first half of the season. It would be nice to see him move up on the list and to be surrounded by some other players by the end of the season.