3 things the Bengals need to do to get back to the postseason in 2024

Buffalo Bills v Cincinnati Bengals
Buffalo Bills v Cincinnati Bengals / Jeff Dean/GettyImages
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The Bengals must have a consistent and effective pass rush

The Bengals have had a hard time finding consistent pass rushers, with Trey Hendrickson being the exception. Although they showed improvement in pressure and sacks last season, ranking 15th in the league, they were almost non-existent the year before. If they can crack the top 10 and become a more prominent pass-rushing unit, it could lead to a lot of opportunities for the Bengals' defense. The team boasts an impressive defensive front with players like Sam Hubbard, B.J. Hill, and D.J. Reader (who will be a free agent this off-season) alongside Hendrickson.

Outside of Hendrickson, none of them pressured the QB at a consistent rate. Cincinnati held a 7.35% sack percentage in 2023. As a team, the Bengals had 50 sacks. Hendrickson had 17.5 of those 50. Hubbard was the closest to him, with six. 

Myles Murphy could play a huge role in 2024 if he can continue to take strides forward. The Bengals drafted him because of his ability to create pressure and wreak havoc. He progressed very slowly in his rookie season. 

When the Bengals are getting to the QB, their defense can be as effective as any in the league, but with a young, inexperienced secondary that they have, when you cannot pressure the QB consistently, you have games like they had many times this season where the QB picks them apart. A key example of that was against the Texans, where C.J. Stroud had his way with the defense because he had all day to dissect it and make throws.