3 biggest weaknesses on Bengals roster

Cincinnati Bengals tight end Hayden Hurst (88) takes the field in the first quarter of the NFL Week
Cincinnati Bengals tight end Hayden Hurst (88) takes the field in the first quarter of the NFL Week / Sam Greene / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Pass Protection

Yes, here we are again discussing whether pass protection will be more of a weakness or a strength for Cincinnati. Of course, this year’s prognosis on how the pass protection will hold up in front of Joe Burrow is more optimistic than in years past. 

Nevertheless, behind a rebuilt offensive line in 2022, Burrow was sacked 41 times, the sixth-most in the NFL. He was hit another 48 times, the 11th-most in the league. 

The addition of Orlando Brown Jr. has a lot of fans justifiably excited but such optimism is quelled by the memories of last year’s enthusiasm surrounding La’el Collins, which is replaced by questions about when he will be back from injury and where he will play along the offensive line when he returns. 

Jonah Williams making the move from left to right tackle has people buzzing. However, we do not know how well he will hold up after never playing there on the NFL level. He is also making his way back from a knee injury.

However, protecting Burrow does not fall solely on the broad shoulders of the offensive line. The tight ends and running backs must also step up in this area. This is why losing Perine in free agency is a cause for concern.

Let’s hope Trayvon Williams and Chase Brown can be as excellent as Perine was at picking up the blitz and pass blocking. 

And when, not if, whoever lines up at tight end finds himself one-on-one versus a pass rusher, let's hope he can hold up in pass protection. 

While there is cause for optimism for the pass protection to be much improved, it remains a weakness until it's proven to be a strength with the play on the field. 

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Luckily the roster doesn’t have a lot of weaknesses. The ones they do have been addressed through the draft and free agency. Now it has to play out on the field.

Pass rush, pass protection, and starting tight end may look like weaknesses now, but that could all change by the end of the year if players new to their situation play to the level their talents suggest they can. 

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