Playing with reserves along the offensive line can be a tall task for any team, but even more so in a playoff game against one of the NFL’s most feared defenses.
That is exactly the situation the Cincinnati Bengals found themselves in while being without RT La’el Collins, RG Alex Cappa, and LT Jonah Williams for Sunday’s AFC Divisional Round game against the Buffalo Bills.
However, the Bengals found strength in numbers with unsung heroes such as backup guard Jackson Carman. It was Carman who stepped up in a big way in the Bengals’ upset win in Buffalo.
Filling in for Cappa, Carman and the rest of Cincinnati’s makeshift offensive line allowed just one sack on the day. Not only did they keep Joe Burrow clean, but they paved the way for an efficient rushing attack led by Joe Mixon.
Jackson Carman destroys this dude pic.twitter.com/XsXtWgSz3V— Matt (@CoachMinich) January 23, 2023
When asked how he was able to step up and perform on a big stage, Carman credited the Bengals’ every day mindset.
“I think it’s because how we meet and practice every day. We are a true team and we’re always connected whether we are in there playing ping pong, competitions on Saturday, or the way we practice as a unit. I feel like that’s really what makes us who we are – the way we work.”
Carman went on to compliment center Ted Karras’ leadership and the job Cincinnati’s offensive line coach Frank Pollack did to put his unit in a position to succeed.
“We got a great leader on the O-Line in Ted (Karras) calling all the shots,” Carman said. “Frank (Pollack) is always gonna get us right on the looks, so as long as we put in the work we’ll be fine.”
Jackson Carman enjoyed shining in his biggest moment for Bengals pic.twitter.com/ox7HIewcsP— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) January 23, 2023
The Bengals put together a shockingly dominant effort in all three phases in the win. Next up is another road test, this time they’ll be heading back into Arrowhead Stadium for an AFC Championship Game rematch against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Featured image via Raj Mehta – USA TODAY Sports