5) 0 sacks
Another particularly discouraging is zero sacks by the Bengals pass rush. At times throughout the game, Jackson had above-average time in the pocket. Without much pressure, Jackson picked apart the defensive secondary, throwing for 237 passing yards and two touchdowns. He finished the day with a quarterback rating of 112.8 and a QBR of 82.4.
Because Cincinnati’s defense could not get much pressure throughout the game with only four rushers, Lou Anarumo was forced to attempt to get creative by bringing pressure with defensive backs in hopes of getting a sack or at least providing some pressure to get Jackson uncomfortable. But not even that worked out well for the Bengals defense.
Zero sacks are also unsettling, considering the Bengals used a premium draft pick, the 28th overall selection, on an edge rusher who has not seen the field very much. Myles Murphy played only 25% of defensive snaps, totaling 19 plays. He had zero impact on the game and he recorded zero stats beyond playing 19 snaps on defense.
Furthermore, there was a lot of hope entering the season that Trey Hendrickson would return to his quarterback-sacking ways of 2021. There was also a lot of talk and hope that this would be the season when Sam Hubbard reached double-digit sacks, something he has not done yet in his career. These expectations are off to a slow start, as they only have one takedown of opposing quarterbacks between them.
This is not something to be overly concerned about. Yet, there should have been the expectation that the defensive line as a whole could take advantage of a Baltimore offensive line down two starters due to injury. They did not.
Not only did the Bengals get zero sacks on the day, but they were only credited with one quarterback hit. That came from Sam Hubbard. The one time Cincinnati got to Jackson, Zach Carter’s effort was nullified by a penalty.
The Bengals must find a way to put more pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Ideally, that will be done with the four or five linemen lined up on the field at any given time. However, if Sunday’s performance indicates how things will go, it will be a long year for the defensive secondary, who should not expect much help from a consistent pass rush.