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Bengals Offensive Line Surprisingly Good at Keeping Extra Pressure Away From the Quarterback

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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:

Rank Team Sacks Total Pressures Sack % of Pressure
1 NYG 13 190 6.84%
2 IND 17 226 7.52%
3 NO 30 278 10.79%
4 SL 30 264 11.36%
5 TB 32 280 11.43%
6 DET 28 232 12.07%
7 CIN 29 232 12.50%
8 KC 31 247 12.55%
9 TEN 25 198 12.63%
10 NE 29 227 12.78%
11 ATL 29 225 12.89%
12 BUF 33 237 13.92%
13 NYJ 29 206 14.08%
14 PHI 45 313 14.38%
15 HST 31 215 14.42%
16 DAL 31 214 14.49%
17 SD 35 240 14.58%
18 WAS 45 305 14.75%
19 GB 44 282 15.60%
20 OAK 44 276 15.94%
21 SF 42 255 16.47%
22 CLV 32 192 16.67%
23 MIN 35 209 16.75%
24 MIA 36 212 16.98%
25 DEN 43 253 17.00%
26 JAX 41 241 17.01%
27 PIT 59 344 17.15%
28 ARZ 45 252 17.86%
29 CHI 55 308 17.86%
30 SEA 39 202 19.31%
31 BLT 52 260 20.00%
32 CAR 42 198 21.21%

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.