People were relieved when Lou Anarumo didn't get picked up by another team for a head coaching job last offseason because of how great the defense has performed under him during these past few years. Unfortunately, the unit regressed mightily this season and it cost the team dearly.
The defense led the league in explosive plays allowed and the run defense was abysmal, giving up the sixth-most yards per game, according to Team Rankings.
A big issue for the Bengals defensively this season was that their secondary was young and inexperienced. They lost both of their starting safeties over the offseason and it was clear, even late in the season, that Dax Hill was still taking his lumps.
The pass rush wasn't as strong as fans were hoping it'd be either, as aside from Trey Hendrickson, no one really stepped up to be a legitimate threat in that department. As we've seen from the rest of the division, building the trenches is the key to winning games. The Bengals haven't done that and that needs to be a point of emphasis this spring.