3 dream scenarios for Bengals in 2023 season

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Cincinnati Bengals v Buffalo Bills
AFC Divisional Playoffs - Cincinnati Bengals v Buffalo Bills / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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2. Bengals have a top-3 defense

If the Bengals want to get back to the Super Bowl and win it this time, they need their defense to be near the top of the pack. They've been making strides toward accomplishing this, adding players such as Chidobe Awuzie, Trey Hendrickson, and DJ Reader in recent years.

Draft-wise, the team has really hit the defensive side of the ball hard, spending their past two first-round picks on defensive players in Dax Hill and Myles Murphy. In 2022, they added Hill, Cam Taylor-Britt, and Zach Carter in the first three rounds. This year, they also spent their first three picks on the defensive side of the ball.

The biggest leap the defense needs to take this year is in the sacks department. Last year, the Bengals finished the season with the fourth-fewest sacks in the league. That cannot happen again if the stripes want to punch their ticket to the Super Bowl this season. Adding Murphy should hopefully help with that but he wasn't exactly a sack-machine in college.

The Bengals were fortunate not to lose Lou Anarumo to another team in the offseason so the defense is in good hands. If the pass rush improves, there's no reason this group can't be a top-three unit in 2023.