Bengals: In the midst of struggles, a defensive playmaker is emerging
In the midst of a disappointing start to the 2020 season, a defensive playmaker is beginning to emerge for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Even some of the Cincinnati Bengals’ harshest critics didn’t predict such a rough start to begin the 2020 season. Three weeks in, the offensive line somehow looks even worse than it did a year ago, there are growing concerns around some of the aging veterans, and the club has yet to find a victory.
The inability to come out of close games victorious has brought a little bit of chaos to the Queen City. Heading into the Joe Burrow era, nearly everybody in WhoDey nation was on board with the current coaching regime. Now, there seems to be plenty of fans ready to move on from second-year head coach Zac Taylor.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the future of the franchise, things aren’t all bad for the orange and black. Joe Burrow is the real deal, Tyler Boyd is still capable of carving up defenses, and Jessie Bates III is quietly solidifying himself as a star. However, a development that ranks just as encouraging has been the play of one of the Bengals’ young linebackers, Logan Wilson.
The Bengals need to begin giving Logan Wilson even more snaps
Cincinnati hasn’t been shy about playing Logan Wilson early and in critical situations. As things stand, he’s getting roughly 20 snaps per game, but his performance against the Philadelphia Eagles should be enough to convince the coaching staff he deserves more time on the field.
The former third-round pick had a clutch interception in the first half, along with an array of impressive tackles and coverage snaps. He played so well that Pro Football Focus gave him a grade of 83.9 on the day, an outstanding showing, especially considering how young his professional career is.
Moving forward, Wilson could very well end up being the key to turning things around for what has been a horrific defense the past few years. It’s been no secret that Cincinnati has struggled to stop the run for quite some time now. As Wilson gets more playing time, he could be the catalyst for improving them in that aspect in particular.
The more playing time the 24-year-old linebacker gets early on, the more likely he’ll be able to take the mantle from veterans like Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins, whenever they decide to hang it up. Those are some big shoes to fill, and Wilson still has a long way to go before declaring him the next cornerstone of the defense, but as the season progresses, look for him to continue to stand out.
Unfortunately, Wilson’s next standout performance may have to wait a week, as he has yet to participate in practice due to a concussion. As the Bengals gear up to take on the Jaguars back at home, his status will remain an important factor.