Bengals News

10 Bold Predictions for the Bengals’ Season in 2020

Cincinnati Bengals, Zac Taylor (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals, Zac Taylor (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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DETROIT, MICHIGAN – OCTOBER 20: Trae Waynes #26 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates his fourth quarter interception with Mackensie Alexander #20 while playing the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on October 20, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. Minnesota won the game 42-30. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN – OCTOBER 20: Trae Waynes #26 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates his fourth quarter interception with Mackensie Alexander #20 while playing the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on October 20, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. Minnesota won the game 42-30. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The secondary will be the Bengals’ strongest unit

With loaded groups at both wide receiver and defensive line, the expectation has been that those two units would be the Bengals’ biggest strengths. However, the team’s revamped secondary is primed to be the team’s real strong point. In free agency, the front office signed a cornerback duo from the Minnesota Vikings in Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander. At safety, they added Vonn Bell from the New Orleans Saints.

After the addition of these three free agents, the Bengals’ secondary has the potential to be an elite unit. At the cornerback position, they have stud corner William Jackson III and the team’s reigning interception leader Darius Phillips to go along with the newly acquired Waynes and Alexander. At safety, Bell joins an already strong duo in Jessie Bates III and Shawn Williams.

Number one corner Jackson had a rough season in 2019, with an overall PFF grade of 53.6. With this being a contract year for the former first-round pick, his play will likely return to the form of his 2017 and 2018 seasons, where he had overall grades of 90.2 and 73.4. The newly acquired Waynes has been consistently solid for every season of his career, never posting a PFF grade below 63.4. If Jackson can be the shutdown corner he has the potential to be and Waynes can stay consistent, the Bengals’ secondary should be a force.

The safety position can be a dominant one for Lou Anarumo’s defense. The trio of Bell, Bates, and Williams could cause trouble for even the strongest offenses. Bell’s strength as a run defender can be a strong complement to Bates’ strength against the pass. These two as starters will allow Williams to be used more frequently as a linebacker, where he can ease the load of the inexperienced unit.

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