The Cincinnati Bengals offensive line looked much more prepared for the Browns in Week 14 than they did on Halloween night. This doesn’t mean they were without their struggles, though.
After all, Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney are a top level edge rushing duo, and they always seem to find success against the Bengals. Following a very solid outing against Clowney in October, La’el Collins couldn’t seem to find a way to consistently win in their second meeting of the season, though Clowney was held to a single solo tackle and a pass defense.
On the other end of the line, Jonah Williams was mostly left on an island against Garrett. This lead to Garrett posting three tackles for loss, two sacks and two pass deflections. While few can hold their own against Garrett alone, it’s still deflating to watch it happen twice in a season.
On the positive side, the Bengals were able to rush for 136 yards (96 of them coming from Mixon in his return to action) and one touchdown. They averaged 5.2 yards a carry, which feels great for this group that really struggled to get the run going early this season. If they can keep up this effort in the run game, the back half of this regular season is going to be a blast to watch!
Even though they gave up two sacks to Garrett (one of which came on the weird trick play with Ja’Marr Chase), the Bengals have been solid when it comes to protecting Joe Burrow. There were only five pressures allowed by the OL in pass protection (per Pro Football Focus).
Being able to keep #9 clean is obviously priority one for the team and fan base that refers to him as “The Franchise”. After a season-ending injury in his rookie season and a 70+ sack season in his first year back, it’s easy to say that this season has been much better when it comes to pass protection.
While they didn’t get off to the best start, this group has been impressive against the pass rush this season.
Down goes Collins! Williams gets driven inside and Volson ducks his head. pic.twitter.com/6jQH6mcAD5— Parker Blake (@ParkerBlake60) December 12, 2022
The Bengals’ run game has been less than impressive to most for the bulk of the season so far. However, throughout the current win streak this team is on, they seem to have hit their stride in that department.
Through their last five games, the team is averaging 4.5 yards per rush. While this is right around the league average, it’s more than enough for this offense to feel like it has taken a huge step. With as many weapons as this team has, an effective run game should worry every opponent that steps onto the field with the Bengals.
Look at the PUSH from Cappa and Collins pic.twitter.com/Wl6hLjR1LN— Parker Blake (@ParkerBlake60) December 12, 2022
Overall, I was let down by the performance of the Bengals’ front five. However, it was good to see the rookie, Volson, step up and be able to help Williams out at times. Cappa was another player that just felt like he couldn’t seem to get anything going throughout the game. As always, Karras was consistent and looked very solid in protection.
I hope to see the guys get back into form for their short road stint and be able to finish out the season strong at home. It feels like this group is on the cusp of something great at just the right time.
Be sure to check out the full Twitter thread for more highlights of the Bengals’ o-line play vs. the Browns.