Sacking opposing quarterbacks
While the Bengals must be better at picking up the blitz, they must also find ways to get to the opposing team's quarterback for sacks.
The Bengals finally took down Andy Dalton on the Saints’ final drive. Sam Hubbard and B.J. Hill combined for the only sack of the game for the Bengals' defense.
Despite not getting to the opposing quarterback as often as they would like, Cincinnati’s defense continues to play well against the pass. They held Dalton to a putrid 29.3 QBR rating. Taysom Hill did not fare well either, only completing two of his four passes for 16 yards.
Nevertheless, at some point, it will be necessary to try to get to the quarterback and bring him down. The Bengals are currently 29th in sacks with nine yet, they are eighth in the NFL with 51 quarterback pressures. This is impressive, considering they are 22nd in blitz percentage per dropback.
Cincinnati’s defense is causing just enough problems for the passing offense while not getting the passer to the ground. They are creating issues for offenses primarily with only three or four pass rushers.
Trey Hendrickson is third in the NFL with 17 pressures credited to him. Sam Hubbard is tied for 13th with 12.
It harkens back to when Carl Lawson was a free agent and the debate around if the Bengals should let him go in free agency. They made the right decision in allowing Lawson to walk and signing Trey Hendrickson. That choice was largely justified due to Hendrickson converting those pressures into sacks.
The danger is against mobile quarterbacks like the one they will face this Sunday, where pressure could lead to a big scramble at the most inopportune time.
This year, there was hope that the Bengals’ defense would be able to have more sacks than last year. However, they are well off their pace of 42 sacks a year ago so hopefully, they can turn some of those pressures into sacks. Also, Hendrickson and Hubbard could use someone else to step up in the pressure department.