We've complained a lot about the Bengals offensive line, but, as Josh pointed out on Monday, they had a better 2010 season, at least when it came to pass blocking, than many of us realized, at least that's the case according to Pro Football Focus.
Pro Football Focus recently wrote another article about the different NFL offensive lines, this time judging their ability to stop extra pressure from the defense into turning into sacks. Once again, surprisingly, the 2010 Bengals offensive line didn't do too badly compared to the others around the league. In fact, they were fairly awesome.
Pro Football Focused took a look at how many times every team's quarterback was pressured by the defense sending extra guys after him. According to them, the Bengals were pressured 232 times in 2010, making them the 16th most pressured team in the NFL.
Then PFF found how many times each quarterback was sacked when extra pressure was sent their way. According to them, Carson Palmer was sacked 29 times. That means that when he was pressured, Palmer was sacked 12.5 percent of the time. According to the guys at PFF, the Bengals offensive line was the seventh best at protecting their quarterback when the defense sent pressure.
Here is their breakdown of how every offensive line performed:
It will be important for the Bengals offensive line to repeat this performance or be better in 2011. They won't be protecting Carson Palmer anymore. Instead, they'll be protecting rookie Andy Dalton and you better believe that any defensive coordinator will be happy to send as much pressure as humanly possible on obvious passing downs.
It will be important, not just for the Bengals' offense and their team as a whole, but for Dalton's health and psyche, for the offensive linemen to keep him on his feet when teams like the Ravens and Steelers send linebackers after the quarterback.
Hopefully they're up to the task.