Bengals should be considered legitimate contenders in 2017

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CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 1: Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs the ball away from Matt Judon #91 of the Baltimore Ravens during the fourth quarter at Paul Brown Stadium on January 1, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Baltimore 27-10. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 1: Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs the ball away from Matt Judon #91 of the Baltimore Ravens during the fourth quarter at Paul Brown Stadium on January 1, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Baltimore 27-10. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Defensive Resurgence

Looking for the main reason the 2017 Bengals will be contenders? Look no further than the defense. Well, that’s getting a bit cocky. But, the X’s will be primed and ready to stop opponents. During training camp, there have been players turning heads. Not only are the vets looking good, the youngsters are ready to make a name for themselves in Cincinnati.

The key to any playoff run lies with the defense. The Bengals have done a good job of making this unit look like a nightmare waiting to happen.

During Week 3 of the preseason, the Washington Redskins had a close encounter with the new-look D. Carl Lawson, Chris Smith and Jordan Willis made themselves at home in the Hogs’ backfield. Each of them finished the game with a sack. Sure, it was preseason. But, Week 3 is generally considered the dress rehearsal game. Quite frankly, the defense was beastly.

The injection of youth could be seen in the push up the field. Lawson was able to have his way with Trent Richardson. Oh, did I mention Vontaze Burfict? Meh. He didn’t do much. Sike. He was freakin’ awesome, during the brief time he was on the field.

Fans are probably going to be worried about the three-game suspension Burfict has to serve at the outset of the year. But, there’s the bright and skillful Nick Vigil to look at. Want another rising superstar to watch? Jordan Evans made the Colts finale his personal highlight video.

This looks like a throwback to some of the early Bengals defensive units that featured names like Reggie Williams, Al Beauchamp and Bill Bergey. Get ready. They’ll deliver the excitement.

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