According to Football Outsiders, the Bengals offensive line ranked 16th in run blocking and seventh in pass protection. The line's adjusted sack rate (5.1%) -- sacks per attempt adjusted for downs, distance and opponents -- ranks higher than any AFC North team, none of which ranked better than Cleveland at 23rd. On the other hand, the team's run blocking left a lot to be desired. Ranked 28th in the league in power success, the team's 51% short distance (two yards for a first down) conversions on third or fourth down was well below the league average of 62%. Additionally, according to Football Outsiders, the team was stuffed (running back tackled at or behind the line of scrimmage) on 22% of their runs.
The Good. The Bengals have a good one in Andrew Whitworth, who ranked as the top offensive tackle according to Pro Football Focus. Bobbie Williams only allowed a quarterback pressure once in every 110 drop backs, generating a pass protection score of 13.0 -- tops in the NFL among guards. Kyle Cook ranked as the team's second-best run blocker behind Whitworth while Anthony Collins ranked as the team's third-best pass blocker, allowing only three pressures during 151 drop backs.
The Bad. While decent as a run blocker, starting left guard Nate Livings allowed a team-high 28 quarterback pressures. Dennis Roland allowed a team-high seven quarterback sacks generating the worst pass protection grade, according to Pro Football Focus.
The Ugly. Andre Smith was thrown into Marvin Lewis' doghouse even before the season started, thanks to a slow recovery from surgery last February meant to prevent future breaks in his foot. In early November, Smith suffered a foot fracture and was placed on Injured Reserve. Smith allowed a quarterback pressure once in every 13 drop backs - a rate worse than Livings.