clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Herm Edwards breaks down why Bengals are best NFL team

New, comments

Many believe the Cincinnati Bengals are the best team in the NFL. ESPN's Herm Edwards is one of them.

Joe Robbins

Former NFL defensive back Herm Edwards is just one of many people who believe the Cincinnati Bengals are the best team in the NFL. He took it a step further and did a breakdown on ESPN as to why Cincinnati is considered to be one of, if not the top team in professional football.

It all starts with the offensive line, which has protected Andy Dalton while paving the way for one of the NFL's best rushing effects.

The Bengals' offensive line has allowed zero sacks this season and has given Dalton plenty of time to throw on long-developing routes. Dalton has thrown only one interception, and Cincinnati has zero fumbles.

Cincinnati has also been more committed to the running game this season under new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. This isn't a coincidence, as when Jackson was OC of the Oakland Raiders in 2010, his team was second in rushing yards and first in rushing yards per attempt.

Hue is going to run a West Coast offense, running the ball between the tackles and using power formations. He wants to be more physical than the other team, and it shows. Just look at the table to the right comparing last season's offense to the 2014 version.

Bengals Play Calling Through First 3 Weeks

Category

2013

2014

Pass percentage

62.0%

48.4%

Rush percentage

38.0%

51.6%

Yards per pass

7.5

8.9

Yards per rush

3.4

3.6

Yards per play

5.5

6.1

A more balanced offense and efficient running game has made life easier for Dalton, who is now beating the blitz and performing under pressure.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, in the first three games last season, he was 5-of-13 for 30 yards, took five sacks and had a Total QBR of 3.0 when under pressure.

This season?

He's 7-of-9 for 166 yards and a Total QBR of 68.7.

It's still early in the season, and those same weaknesses that plagued Cincinnati in years past could still rear their ugly heads. That said, the Bengals look like a team built for a deep run in January.