Cincinnati Bengals: 3 biggest weaknesses on team’s roster
By Alex Austin
The Cincinnati Bengals were bad in the pass rush and lost their best player.
Last year marked a turn of the Bengals being able to rely on their veteran defensive linemen to the younger players needing to step up. Cincinnati no longer has prime Geno Atkins or Carlos Dunlap to count on to disrupt the opposing team consistently. The team is turning to new faces, but the question of improvement remains.
Last year the Bengals relied on Carl Lawson who delivered in a big way. He was one of the best pass rushers in the league winning 20% of his pass rush attempts. During the offseason, however, he decided to leave Cincinnati, which leaves a huge hole for the Bengals to attempt to fill.
Adding Trey Hendrickson is a start, but there is still a gap of talent. Plus, Hendrickson had just one stellar season with the Saints so we’ll find out if he’s the real deal or not.
The bigger issue is that even with Lawson playing at such a high level the team was still the third-worst in pass rushing. Cincinnati is hoping that new faces both through free agency and returning from injury will be enough to have this unit competitive, but there is little evidence to support that the Bengals will be better at rushing the passer in 2021.