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

Report: Some Texans players have already 'checked out' on coaches

WATCH: Washington scores against USC with trick play

Andre Johnson, Colts down Texans in key division win

Claude Julien: Illegal hit on Patrice Bergeron warrants ‘further consequences’

Foster’s return to game after head injury raises questions

Lions owner Martha Ford is not happy with NFL about blown call on MNF


New details on Duke Williams dismissal

Baylor’s RG3 statue vandalized by TCU fans

FSU’s Dalvin Cook looking good to play Saturday against Miami

Rangers survive war of attrition in Game 1 vs Blue Jays

NBA Players Union to fund cardiac screenings for retired players

Dolphins fire defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle, promote Lou Anarumo

WATCH: Jets' Burmistrov lays dirty hit on Bruins' Bergeron

Report: Cowboys ban filming offense in practice with Patriots next on schedule

Maryland HC Randy Edsall responds on Twitter to firing reports

Pacquiao says he is in talks with Mayweather about rematch

Wisconsin looks to bounce back against Nebraska

Jack Del Rio: Raiders will go after Peyton Manning, want to ‘take him down’

Charles Barkley will guest star on 'The NFL Today'

Week 5 NFL power rankings

Poor Royals grounds crew member gets eaten by tarp

Vin Scully to miss the entire postseason; will return in 2016

Colin Kaepernick’s contract structure protects team from overpaying struggling QB

Vladimir Putin celebrates birthday by scoring seven goals in hockey game

The Cowboys clearly don't trust the Patriots

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

Week 5 NFL power rankings

Vin Scully to miss the entire postseason

Putin celebrates birthday by scoring seven goals in hockey game

"Friday Night Lights" writer calls Chip Kelly a fraud

Women in sports this week: Is this 2015 or 1965?

Three reasons each AL team can win the pennant

Garrett addresses Hardy's comments about Gisele

Five outrageous predictions for NFL Week 5

Rex makes players do push-ups in practice after penalty calls

Weeden compares QB situation to 'backing up Derek Jeter'

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker