Someone, we're not exactly sure the name, at the Cincinnati Enquirer offered a response to the Houston Chronicle's article, twelve reasons why the Houston Texans will beat the Cincinnati Bengals, taking those 12 points and offering rebuttals to each. It's an uncharacteristic publication from the Enquirer, who generally offering neutral journalistic quality. Even Paul Daugherty's postings aren't so much excitable as they are reflections and reactions.
One of the points that the Cincinnati Enquirer made during their rebuttal was in response to Jerome Solomon's seventh point writing:
7. Connor Barwin: The game has special meaning to him, as he played college ball in Cincinnati. Bengals are weak blocking on the edge, so he could have a big day.
This, as they say, goes in Reavers territory, turning a promised list into endless reaches to keep said list continuing that should have died long ago. The Cincinnati Enquirer's response:
Bengals are weak blocking the edge? There is nothing weak about Andrew Whitworth, who has consistently been on of the best tackles in the league. And Andre Smith has held his own. That’s why the Texans could only muster one sack in their last meeting. And if you want to go with the special-meaning, hometown angle, we’ll go with Katy, Texas native Andy Dalton.
Well said. Let's offer more.
According to NFL's Game Statistics and Information Systems, the Cincinnati Bengals are averaging 5.09 yards/rush when running the football outside of the left tackle box -- generally speaking, where Connor Barwin lines up. Additionally the Cincinnati Bengals have allowed only 25 quarterback sacks this season -- eight less than the Houston Texans, who the Houston Chronicle writes as "the best in the business."
Football Outsiders ranks Cincinnati as the fourth best pass protection unit in the NFL with an adjusted sack rate of 4.5 percent sack rate -- compared to Houston, who ranks 22nd with a 7.3 percent sack rate.
Houston's offensive line is very good and three members could have made arguments for the 2012 Pro Bowl. But as our friends at the Cincinnati Enquirer writes, the "Bengals had five sacks against the Texans in their last meeting". Cincinnati also registered another five quarterback hits on the quarterback and six pressures.
So kudos to our Cincinnati Enquirer friends for sticking up for the Cincinnati Bengals, turning a rah-rah posting from the Houston Chronicle and knocking it out of the park. Enquirer 1, Chronicle 0.