The biggest question for the Cincinnati Bengals: Can the defense take enough strides in 2020
With a rookie quarterback, you were probably expecting the Bengals biggest question to be about the offense. When you look at it though, the Bengals have a lot of things going for them offensively. They have help for Joe Burrow. Joe Mixon is a good running back. The potential of A.J. Green and Tee Higgins is encouraging. It wouldn’t be shocking if the Bengals got things rolling offensively. Will their defense be able to show up to the party?
Last season the Bengals defense was downright bad. They gave up the most rushing yards in the NFL and allowed an average of 4.7 yards per carry. Stopping the Ravens is out of the question with that kind of defense. Beating the Browns will be tough with this kind of run defense. If the Bengals defense can’t stop the run, they are in the absolute worst division. The defense was such an area of worry for the Bengals that they drafted three linebackers this year. Four of their seven draft picks were spent on defense, specifically the front seven.
So while a 2-14 team from a year ago has many questions to answer, the defense looms largest on their worry meter. They invested the number one pick in Joe Burrow. They are going to give him more than one year to figure it out. One way or another he’s the future and that shapes the way Cincinnati will look at the offense.
The defense has to be better. The defensive line is getting old. Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap aren’t getting any younger and the defensive front has to get a lot tougher. The Bengals can have patience with the offense however they can’t have patience with this defense. To win games in the AFC North you have to be tougher than they were a year ago. Until they show that they are, the Bengals can’t be taken too seriously.