Bengals' Whitworth braces for familiar foe

September, 24, 2011
9/24/11
2:00
PM ET
If the Bengals want to end the 49ers' 24-game streak of not allowing a 100-yard rusher, they'll need a big game from "Dino-bones."

That's the nickname given to Cincinnati left tackle Andrew Whitworth by former teammate Justin Smith because Whitworth's hands are so big and strong. Whitworth, one of the most underrated tackles in the league, will square off against Smith and the 49ers on Sunday in Cincinnati's home opener. They used to go head-to-head in practice for two years (2006-07) when they were both on the Bengals.

“I know his style and his attitude; I practiced against him for two years,” Whitworth told Bengals.com. “He’s like he was when he was here: a power rusher. They play almost identical to Pittsburgh. They don’t move around as much, but they’re fast and physical with good players inside and outside. It’s pretty close to what we see in the AFC North and their three down linemen set the tone for them.”

The 49ers are the top-ranked run defense in the NFL, giving up 54.5 yards on the ground per game.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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