The Bengals' pass defense is an underrated strength on the roster. The secondary was spectacular last season. The defense allowed a league-best 58.9% completion percentage, according to NFL.com. Also, the unit surrendered the third-fewest number of passing touchdowns with 17.
What makes those statistics even more astounding is that Lou Anarumo’s defense racked up only 30 sacks, which was good (or bad) for the fourth-least in the league. For context, the Eagles flew high above every team with 70 takedowns of opposing quarterbacks. Cincinnati’s pass rush was 16th in the NFL in QB pressures.
If the Bengals can improve on those pressure and sack numbers, Cincinnati’s secondary will look even better, potentially one of the very best.
The Bengals bring back starting corners Cam Taylor-Britt and Mike Hilton. Starting at free safety is last year’s speedy and talented first-round pick Dax Hill. Hopefully, Chidobe Awuzie will be healthy enough to start the season. If not, Cincinnati's second-round pick, D.J. Turner II, has the potential to make an impact, much like Taylor-Britt did in his rookie year.
Up front, Cincinnati addressed the pass rush with the selection of Myles Murphy in the first round. Hopefully, his addition will bring some much-needed added pressure to opposing passers. Trey Hendrickson getting back to double-digit sacks as he did in the 2021 season will also help the pass defense.
The infusion of youth, athleticism, and speed to a Lou Anarumo defense should allow Cincinnati to have as good of a pass defense as last year, if not better.