3 Ways The Bengals Can Make The Playoffs

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Jan 9, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron (5) hands the ball to running back Giovani Bernard (25) against the Pittsburgh Steelers during a AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 9, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron (5) hands the ball to running back Giovani Bernard (25) against the Pittsburgh Steelers during a AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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3 Ways The Bengals Can Make The Playoffs
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

DEE-Fence Makes A Return

Simply put, the Bengals have to stop the run. Last year, the defense ranked in the bottom third of the league. If Cincinnati is going to make a valiant effort at making a playoff run, the front seven will play a huge part. With Peko clogging the line in Denver, Andrew Billings will have his time to shine. The Margus Hunt experiment is officially over. Look for the speedy and hungry Will Clarke to get more snaps. 

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The draft will certainly play a big part in what happens on the line. If Billings hadn’t been hurt, there was a chance he would have seen limited playing time. But, any time would have been a plus for the Bengals. Unless a player like Derek Barnett makes his way to the shores of Cincinnati, Marvin Lewis’ isn’t going to change his policy on rookies.

It’s time for Paul Guenther to show what he can do with this defense. They flirted with a top 10 finish in 2015, with a strong effort against the run. But, if they want to do damage in the AFC North, the defense has to stop teams when they have to.

The addition of Kevin Minter will definitely help. Linebacker play should be intense and coverage from the second level should improve dramatically.

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