5 toughest defenses on Bengals 2023 schedule

  • Can the Bengals slow down Myles Garrett?
  • The Ravens have one of the best secondaries in the NFL, when healthy.
  • Bills depth along the defensive front will be a major threat.
  • If Chris Jones decides to return to action, the Chiefs remain a defensive force.
  • The 49ers have arguably the best pass rusher and linebacker in the league.

San Francisco 49ers v Cincinnati Bengals
San Francisco 49ers v Cincinnati Bengals / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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3. Buffalo Bills

The key to this Buffalo Bills defense is the depth they have along the defensive front. A torn ACL means Von Miller will start the season on the 'physically unable to perform' list, missing the first four games. He should be fully healthy by the time they face the Bengals early in November. Even without him, the pass-rush group is solid.

Greg Rousseau has developed into an above-average edge rusher, and Leonard Floyd arrives having narrowly missed out on his third year as a double-digit sack producer, adding nine in his last season with the Rams. If Ed Oliver can realize his potential on the interior, it could be one of the league's best fronts.

The biggest miss for the Bills will be linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. He contributed 77 tackles in 2022, earning a PFF defensive grade of 79.0. His departure in free agency leaves a hole next to the experienced Matt Milano. That looks set to be filled by Terrel Bernard initially. Long-term, draft pick Dorian Williams may be the answer.

The most inspiring story of the 2022 season was the recovery of Damar Hamlin after his scary injury against the Bengals. Despite being a backup safety, seeing him back on the field will be one of the bright spots of this season. The experienced duo of Jordan Poyer and Michah Hyde will keep him off the field. If they remain healthy it is one of the top safety duos in the NFL.

As long as the Bills don't miss Edmunds too heavily, they should remain one of the most efficient defenses in the league.