The Bengals’ defense took a gigantic step last year in its development. Players like D.J. Reader and Larry Ogunjobi both seem to have skillsets that compliment the outside guys. Hendrickson and Hubbard have a flexibility that allows for defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo to play around with.
The direction of this defense as a whole can point to that Super Bowl run as much as the offense. What Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase did was special last season, don’t discount the defensive effort though.
The group that is especially fun to see grow this year is the linebacker. This Bengals defense is led by Logan Wilson and Germaine Pratt, that young duo is going to do wonders this year. Late in the Super Bowl, they became a talking point, this year they will for a different reason. The cornerback group has some work to do but they proved to be more than serviceable.
Don’t slouch on the special teams either. The combo of Evan McPherson and Kevin Huber is one of the best in the league.
Keep this in mind though, sometimes the NFL can figure out your offense and find ways to scheme against it. When you have a top defense then the entire league takes notice. This ranking for the Bengals’ defense is well deserved after the season they had. Heading into this year though, they need to maintain the momentum they are on. Part of that momentum will be making sure safety Jessie Bates II is playing to his full potential despite his contract situation. The defense can do that for them even when the offense can’t.
This ranking for the Cincinnati Bengals defense is deserved. Both on the field and on paper this team has the talent to go out and get them a Super Bowl. Now comes the hard part which is the journey back to it.