Originally posted 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.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Auburn legend Bo Jackson using Heisman vote for Alabama star

Gronk: Tom Brady doesn't age, seems like he's in his 20s

Cam Newton says Greg Hardy was a 'great teammate'

Ohio State plans to end Mirror Lake jump tradition after death

WATCH: Jason Kidd ejected for swiping ball out of ref's hands

Brad Stevens: Celtics had 'real conversations' after loss to Hawks


Les Miles unsure about his future at LSU

Saban will not rule out Kenyan Drake for Iron Bowl

Andre Drummond responds to Khris Middleton saying he doesn’t like contact

Lacking Jazz: Why Utah’s offense has struggled this season

Magic to bench Victor Oladipo, start Channing Frye

10 unheralded NFL players set to make a major impact in Week 12

Brady: Few have more respect for Peyton Manning than me

WATCH: Marcus Foligno flips Carter Hutton

Blaine Gabbert was only person at his press conference

Report: Alabama DC Kirby Smart a front-runner for South Carolina job

Kristaps Porzingis really wants to meet Turtle from ‘Entourage’

Top storyline for each Week 12 NFL game

WATCH: Ref injures Yakupov's leg by pulling him down

Ryan Fitzpatrick shaves beard to ‘switch up the mojo’

Bedlam is bigger than ever, but which team will be better than ever?

5 outrageous predictions for Week 12 of the NFL season

How the Detroit Lions became the face of football on Thanksgiving Day

The 10 most disappointed fan bases of the 2015 college football season

Jimmy Butler wants Mason Plumlee to pay his $2,500 fine

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top storyline for each Week 12 NFL game

Top 10 matchups for Week 12 of the NFL season

The 10 most disappointed fan bases of the 2015 CFB season

Gronk: Takes mental toughness not to overeat on Thanksgiving

Blue Jays fans create website in effort to keep David Price

The five most overrated teams in the Week 13 coaches' poll

10 storylines for Week 13 of the college football season

Ranking the 10 best games of 2015 college football rivalry week

Examining the Mavericks' hot start

Johnny Bench(ed): Manziel demoted to third string

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker