The Cincinnati Bengals‘ biggest issue in 2021 was protecting quarterback Joe Burrow.
Cincinnati allowed Burrow to be sacked 70 times last season (51 times in the regular season and 19 times in the playoffs). We’ve seen worse offensive line performances, but I’m not sure we’ve seen a worse offensive line performance from a Super Bowl-caliber team.
We all know that the Bengals’ offensive line played poorly in 2021. But how do Cincinnati’s players feel about the offensive line play from last season?
Bengals left tackle Jonah Williams, who recently had his fifth-year option picked up by Cincinnati, spoke on Tuesday about his unit’s performance last season.
Williams told reporters during a media availability that seeing Burrow hit so many times last year was “unacceptable”.
“We know when we do our job well that it’s going to allow everyone else to shine,” said Williams.
Williams specifically thought the Bengals’ offensive line could’ve played better in Cincinnati’s Super Bowl loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
“We didn’t play well enough,” said Williams. “That’s pretty obvious when you look at the stats and the outcome of the game. We want to perform better the next time we get to that stage.”
Cincinnati revamped their offensive line this offseason, signing three new starting offensive linemen in free agency. Williams and left guard Jackson Carman (second-round pick by Cincy in 2021) are the only two starting offensive linemen from last season that are expected to start in 2022.
The Bengals have done everything right on paper this offseason to make the team better. But they still have to go prove on Sundays that they weren’t a one-year wonder in 2021.
Williams and the rest of Cincinnati’s offensive line seem committed to keeping Burrow as clean as possible in 2022. If they can achieve their goal of cutting down on the sacks that Burrow takes, then this team should be a threat once again to make a deep playoff run.
Featured image via Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK