The defense struggles to work together and gives up too many big plays
Cincinnati was excited when the Bengals’ front office decided to add a host of new faces to the defense in free agency. Spending like never before, the organization brought in D.J. Reader, Trae Waynes, Vonn Bell, and Mackenzie Alexander to fix a unit that struggled mightily in 2019. All those new faces may not be enough to completely change the fortunes of the defense, however.
Cincinnati is still projected to be among the worst defenses of the league and it is in large part because the players brought in will take time to adjust to the new scheme. In addition, the Bengals made sure they would improve at stopping the run, but being able to defend against the pass is still a question mark, especially now with Waynes injured.
If the Bengals are not able to stop the pass, the defense might once again force the offense to play from behind. This would put additional pressure on Joe Burrow and the rest of the offense, which could lead to the young quarterback forcing more throws. More turnovers put the defense back on the field needing to make a stop, and the cycle would continue to drag the Bengals downwards.
All of the issues the Bengals could have this year are inter-connected, which could spell disaster for the season if the team can’t improve as a whole.