The Cincinnati Bengals defense has been a pleasant surprise through the first four games of the season but the unfortunate reality is that the schedule is about to get a lot tougher. It starts this week with a home game against the Green Bay Packers, whose offense poses the biggest challenge yet for the Bengals’ defense.
It goes without saying that the reason the Packers’ offense is so intimidating is that they have future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers as their quarterback. Rodgers is coming off a year where he threw for 48 touchdowns and just five interceptions and unsurprisingly went on to win NFL MVP.
So far, through the first four games of the season, Rodgers has tossed for 897 yards, eight touchdowns, and two interceptions, both of which came in Week 1 in that blowout loss to the Saints.
In other words, Rodgers is fantastic and he’s going to challenge the Bengals’ defense in ways they haven’t been challenged this year.
Bengals defense has a tough task ahead of them in Week 5
Last week was the worst outing yet from the defense, but to be fair, they were without star safety Jessie Bates, whose absence was more than obvious. The run defense wasn’t able to stop James Robinson and the secondary was picked apart by Trevor Lawrence in what looked to be his first great game as a pro.
Hopefully, Bates will be back on the field this week after missing last week’s game due to a neck injury. The Bengals will need him — along with Chidobe Awuzie and Ricardo Allen — desperately, as they try to slow down Rodgers by any means necessary.
Another big factor in this game will hopefully be the Bengals’ pass rush, which wasn’t prominent last week against a not-so-impressive Jags offensive line. Trey Hendrickson was paid the big bucks to be a premier pass-rushing threat and he needs to be front and center this week and get some pressure on Rodgers.
Cincinnati’s defense has impressed so far but if they can put the heat on Rodgers and knock him around throughout, people will start to take them a lot more seriously moving forward. He’s one of their toughest challenges of the season and will set the pace for what this group’s reputation will be over the coming weeks.