Entering the season, the Bengals defensive unit seemed much better. Although the doubt remained whether they might know how to overcome several of the weaknesses of last year’s team. Let’s narrow down the three vital facets as I see things.
The team rarely got to the quarterback last season, and when they were able to, it generally came from the linebacker position.
In the course of the game against Denver last Sunday, the Bengals registered 3 sacks, all of which came from the defensive unit. DE Antwan Odom had 2 sacks, which included one big one in the 4th quarter, which put Denver out of field goal range.
Jonathan Fanene was responsible for the other sack.
At present, I’d say the d-line looks improved in the area of attacking the QB, although there’s room for a lot of improvement. Much of that comes from the other end, Robert Geathers, whose unpredictability continues to be a problem.
In the preseason, the d-line seemed as if they were definitely going to take it to the next level, regarding defending the run. The addition of Tank Johnson was sure to benefit the team in this respect.
For the game versus Denver, the rush defense was pretty ordinary. Nothing stood out, however the d-line did not surrender any big plays either. They surrendered an average of 3.8 yards per carry and 75 yards.
That’s a step in the right direction, from a sheer yardage standpoint. If you give up less than 100 yards on the ground, you are giving your franchise an opportunity to win.
It would be good to see the yards per carry average come down to three or less, though. While Tank Johnson saw a fair amount of double coverage, he made an influence with two tackles and adds a swagger of toughness to this defense.
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