The Cincinnati Bengals' defense has put together solid performances through three weeks of the season and earned deserving praise from head coach Zac Taylor.
Despite continual issues on the offensive end, the Bengals' defense has looked the part of a playoff-contending unit. In the first two games, the Bengals gave up 23 points to the Pittsburgh Steelers and 20 points to the Dallas Cowboys, but the defense is not necessarily to blame.
Burrow threw four picks in Week 1, making it difficult for even the league's best defense to keep the team in the game, and Cowboys backup quarterback Cooper Rush has proven to be much better than expected (he recently went 3-0 as Dallas' starter).
Zac Taylor took the time to praise the Bengals' defensive unit for their "character" and ability to "rise up and do it again and again."
Cincinnati Bengals have a solid defensive unit in 2022
The unit as a whole deserves the praise, but a select handful of defenders have particularly shined in these last few weeks.
Pass rusher Trey Hendrickson remains as effective as ever, producing 2.5 sacks in three games; the interior defense led by D.J. Reader has also done a fine job at stopping the run.
Linebackers Logan Wilson and Akeem Davis-Gaither stepped up in Week 3 to thwart the Jets' passing attack and have been excellent in coverage. The secondary, composed of Jessie Bates, Eli Apple, and Mike Hilton, among others, has also been elite and prevented opponents from getting huge chunk plays for the most part.
Let's hope Cincy's D can stay productive against the Miami Dolphins on Thursday.