3 questions the Bengals must answer in Week 5 vs Packers

Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Trey Hendrickson, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

2. Is this defense for real?

The Bengals are sporting a shiny 3-1 record, which makes us all happy, but looking closer — Is the defense as good as they look?

  • The win over Minnesota was exciting and the Bengals did a great job containing Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson.
  • Week 2 against a bad Bears team, the defense played well enough to win once again. They locked down David Montgomery and kept an ineffective Justin Fields well in check.
  • Week 3 saw the defense once again rise to the occasions against the Steelers, but this clearly isn’t the Steeler team of old. The corpse of Ben Roethlisberger could only muster 10 points at home.

The Thursday night affair against Jacksonville felt a bit different. Yes the defense stiffened right before half and that extended into the second half, but the loss of Jessie Bates was clearly being felt, as the secondary seemed a bit out of sorts.

Trevor Lawrence converted a couple of key third downs on the ground, and the defensive line offered minimal rush. Perhaps it was simply the result of a small post-Pittsburgh hangover, or being overly confident against the lowly Jaguars, the fact remains the defense felt a bit soft.

Green Bay will offer the first true test to this defense in the personages of Aaron Jones and Aaron Rodgers. This unit must get healthy quick, Trae Waynes included (I know he played, but isn’t he always hurt?), and figure out how to stop Rodgers and company Sunday in Cincinnati.

If they do, then we will know we have a top 10 unit on hand.