5 Bold Predictions for the Bengals in 2014

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The Bengals are looking for a breakout year from second-year defensive end Margus Hunt. They’ll find it in 2014. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Margus Hunt Will Lead The Bengals in Sacks

Margus Hunt has shown great ability thus far during his second season with the Bengals.  Although it’s the preseason, Hunt was able to accumulate some impressive stats in the four games he played.

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Coach Marvin Lewis has expressed seeing real improvement in the young defensive end and is expecting big things from Hunt as the Bengals look for players to step up in Michael Johnson’s stead (Johnson signed with the Buccaneers this off-season).

Hunt will benefit from the Bengals talented defensive line the same way Johnson did while in Cincinnati; Johnson even managed to produce 11.5 sacks in 2012, a career high.  With Geno Atkins returning this year from an ACL injury in 2013, and Carlos Dunlap lining up as the other defensive end, Hunt will likely see many 1:1 match-ups this year.  Because Hunt possesses so much strength and agility, he’ll match up well with opposing teams right tackles (who are typically stronger, but less agile than their left tackle counterparts).  Hunt can out-muscle just about any offensive lineman…

so if he can develop another move or two, he may become an incredible force along the line.  If Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap play they way we’ve become accustomed to, I’d expect to see many situations where quarterbacks roll away from pressure and possibly into Hunt’s grasp.  It’s this presumed increased opportunities for Hunt which will enable to young lineman to shine in 2014.