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Chalk Talk: Were the Bengals running a 3-4 defense? Here’s what I saw

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The Bengals’ use of the under front.

There was a lot of talk this year about the Bengals defensive front. At times, defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo moved defensive lineman all around the field with mixed results.

Andrew Billings dropping into coverage and Sam Hubbard lining up at linebacker (as well as into coverage) were some of the head-scratching calls, but there were other positive usages of the athletic players up front. Hubbard and Carl Lawson (when available) were moved around quite a bit, as the defense hit a bit of a stride towards the end of the season.

They did some very creative things with their personnel, lining guys up in various positions. As their defensive personnel continues to improve, this defense could get very interesting.

Were they running a 3-4? A 5-2? What exactly can we call Anarumo’s scheme?

The truth is that they ran multiple fronts, but often they were running what is known as an Under front. In this week’s podcast, I talk about what that is and take a look at some of the odd fronts they ran in their Week 15 matchup against the Patriots.

I kick off the episode with a bit of a defensive positional tutorial and then dive into some of the more creative looks given by the Bengals in a late-season matchup. The defensive line is filled with talent—both at the primes and ends of their respective careers—so, it will be interesting to see what Anarumo does going forward.

These Chalk Talk episodes have been available throughout the season and will continue into the offseason. Be sure to tune in, as we continue to break down the X’s and O’s.

All of the film review content will be on SB Nation’s Cincy Jungle podcast channel, along with the other episodes of The Orange and Black Insider. New shows like the “Orange is the New Black” podcast from Ace Boogie and Zim WhoDey and “Sorry If I Spit When I Speak” from Dadio Makdook and Dr. Hodgie Smodgie have also been added to the channel’s audio slate.

The video of my film reviews can be found on the OBI YouTube page and/or Cincy Jungle’s Facebook page. Thanks for watching!