Cincinnati Bengals: 3 keys to making the playoffs in 2021
By Alex Austin
How Cincinnati Bengals can make playoffs – Defense needs to elevate level of play
The Bengals made a lot of changes to the defense in the offseason, but it is hard to tell if they got better, worse, or stayed at the same level. The addition of defensive end Trey Hendrickson headlined the arrivals along with cornerbacks, Mike Hilton and Eli Apple. However, these had to be brought in because of the departure of William Jackson and Carl Lawson.
The middle of the draft saw the additions of defensive end Joseph Ossai, edge rusher Cam Sample, defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin, and late-round pick-up defensive end Wyatt Hubert. This group will have to get acclimated quickly in order to jump in as rotational pieces.
In order for the Bengals to succeed, they don’t need the defense to be the best in the NFL. With an offense that is built to carry the team, all the Cincinnati defense needs to do is play at a league-average level.
Currently, the expectations are for the Bengals to be in the bottom quarter of the league which would put even more pressure on Joe Burrow.
If Cincinnati wants any chance of getting to the playoffs in 2021, their new-look defense will need to step up and play as a league-average unit.