Originally written on WhoDeyFans  |  Last updated 12/6/12
After getting whacked in the knee by my comrade DonnieRedboy yesterday (you’re still my bro, though!), I got to thinking about his comment that Dalton’s play in San Diego. He said: “The first thing that went wrong in SD was Dalton. He was not playing like the top caliber QB that he has been.” True, he did not look as sharp as he had in the previous three wins. That’s mainly on him, but not entirely. Some of it was on the offensive line. Part of the reason the Bengals were able to dominate in three straight wins was because they owned the trenches. To demonstrate the point. I put together the following table showing the current rankings by Football Outsiders for the offensive and defensive lines for the Bengals, their previous four victims, and the upcoming Cowboys. TEAM PASS BLOCK RUN BLOCK PASS DEFENSE RUN DEFENSE Bengals 19th 8th 1st 24th Giants 1st 2nd 9th 27th Chiefs 21st 22nd 12th 19th Raiders 10th 30th 31st 15th Chargers 27th 17th 21st 7th Cowboys 13th 24th 7th 20th The Giants are sloppy against the run anyway, but their pass defense was off against the Bengals. They had the last bye week of the season the week after that game, and they played like the bye was the only thing on their minds. The Chiefs’ line is mediocre at best, and the Raider’s line — like the rest of the team — is just not good. So after three straight games of owning the trenches, the Bengals finally faced a stout D-line that plugs the gaps. In fact, the Chargers’ D-line is the best run-blocking team that the Bengals have faced this year. And the O-line, playing on the West Coast against an opponent that was fighting for their season, had their hands full for much of the game. A disruptive D-line is a thing of beauty… unless your team is facing one. They can make even elite quarterbacks look pedestrian when they generate pressure. (Isn’t that why we all love Geno?) Looking ahead to the Cowboys… That stats say that Dalton will feel some heat. Now, the Bengals’ O-line has been playing above their 19th ranking since Trevor Robinson took over at center, so that matchup won’t be as lopsided as it looks. But there should be plenty of opportunity to get BJGE that fourth straight 100+ yard game. I expect that using the run and the threat of A.J. Green to open up the middle of the field will be the plan for Jay Gruden. The biggest mismatch in the trenches will be Zimmer’s pass rush. Look for Romo to be moving out of the pocket a lot, designed or not. So pursuit is vital. Romo is dangerous outside the pocket. He and Dez Bryant or Jason Witten will make a few plays that way. But all in all, Dalton should have a better day in the pocket, giving the Bengals a bit of an advantage. And winning in the trenches is the surest way to a W. I’ll take the Bengals in a tight one for a fifth straight win.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Matt Williams wants Bryce Harper to stop getting ejected

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Larry Lucchino stepping down as Red Sox CEO

Las Vegas Mob Museum to open FIFA corruption exhibit

Does NFL have a motive to settle with Tom Brady?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Big Ten coaches opposed to 9-game conference schedule

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Hill arrested for reckless driving, clocked going 107 mph

Diamondbacks GM: Padres wanted Goldschmidt for Kimbrel

'Rowdy' Roddy Piper dead at 61

Mets acquire Yoenis Cespedes from Tigers

Blount won't talk about reported failed conditioning test

Greg Hardy helps pay Cowboys fans to fly anti-Eagles banner

Report: 7-foot Aussie center to join Kentucky's 2015 class

Eagles trade CB Brandon Boykin to Steelers

Jack Del Rio: Crabtree ‘stood out’ at first Raiders camp practice

Browns owner: ‘We haven’t given up on Johnny Manziel’

Junior Seau’s daughter will speak at Hall of Fame induction

Golden State Warriors: the rich get richer

NFL, Brady could settle to avoid appeal documents going public

Miguel Herrera apologizes for costly Philly airport fight

Russell Wilson contract $60 million guaranteed? Not so fast

Bernard Pollard backs Tom Brady, disagrees with suspension

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

David Price traded to Blue Jays

The indefensible Hulk Hogan

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker