PFF: Cincinnati Bengals Sport One Of The League's Top Offensive Lines

Fernando Medina-US PRESSWIRE

It may seem like a strange statement, considering most are quick to blame the offensive line before skill player heroes.

It may seem strange to the more broad-picture observer, noting that if Andy Dalton is sacked and BenJarvus Green-Ellis isn't rushing for four yards or more, then it must be the offensive line's fault. Must be. There are instances where this is true. But there are also instances in which some simply refuse to blame skill players with a zombie-like predilection to blame the offensive line.

What do you mean Dalton is getting sacked after holding onto the football for 15 seconds, or immediately looking to scamper once he sees his initial receiver covered after his 1.1-second window passes. It's not like Armon Binns or Brandon Tate, playing the position more commonly referred to as the No. 2 receiver, are wide open down the seams. And we're certain that our eyes blinked twice between BenJarvus Green-Ellis receiving the handoff and hitting the line of scrimmage.

According to Pro Football Focus' grading system, the Cincinnati Bengals sport the league's best pass blocking unit and eighth-best overall offensive line in the NFL.

How much better would this line have been if Kyle Cook wasn’t on injured reserve? His replacement Jeff Faine is our lowest rated center on the year so far. Everyone else on the line? Ranked in the top six at their position.

OVERALL RANK* PASS B. RANK* RUN B. RANK*
Andrew Whitworth 10.8 7th 11.0 3rd -0.8 36th
Clint Boling 9.1 10th 8.4 2nd -0.8 35th
Jeff Faine -10.5 34th 0.9 21st -10.7 34th
Kevin Zeitler 11.1 5th 4.9 10th 3.7 11th
Andre Smith 7.3 16th 7.0 12th -0.8 36th

[* Rank based at respective position (for example, guard... not right and/or left guard) and where they're listed in the NFL. Additionally the grades do not add up to the overall because we excluded other grades]

Alright. So maybe the running game is lacking some help from offensive line.

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