Among their moves last offseason, the Bengals signed Trey Hendrickson, Chidobe Awuzie, re-signed Quinton Spain, traded for B.J. Hill, and drafted Ja’Marr Chase.
Every single one of those moves has looked brilliant so far. That was perhaps more evident than ever during last week’s blowout win against the Detroit Lions.
Trey Hendrickson manhandled Sewell.— Dadio Makdook (@dadiodefacto) October 17, 2021
Chase torched the Lions' secondary.
I'm giving our offseason an A+.
Hendrickson is one of the best pass rushers in the league. He has 34 QB pressures, 5.5 sacks, 11 QB hits, and is the motor that gives Cincinnati a push on every passing down.
Largely as a result of Hendrickson’s presence, the Bengals’ d-line has already eclipsed their sack total from last year (13 this year, only 11.5 in all of 2020).
The Cincinnati #Bengals defensive line has officially eclipsed their NFL season sack total from a year ago in just six games.— Andrew Russell (@PFF_AndrewR) October 19, 2021
Of course, the d-lineman who has best taken advantage of the attention given Hendrickson is another offseason acquisition, Hill, who was acquired in a trade for Billy Price. The former New York Giant has three sacks already, second most on the team after Hendrickson.
Meanwhile, Chidobe Awuzie has looked like an elite corner so far, ranking fifth for all corners in terms of Pro Football Focus.
Quinton Spain has helped Jonah Williams solidify the left side of the line, and, most importantly, not allowed a single QB sack or hit on Joe Burrow.
This off-season, the #Bengals signed @Quinton_Spain to a prove-it deal… and it’s paying off brilliantly.— Willie Lutz (@willie_lutz) October 18, 2021
Amongst guards, he ranks 11th in PFF grade (75.1), 8th in run blocking, & 29th in pass blocking (62.6).
He’s allowed 0 QB sacks & hits with only 4 hurries (T-9). Huge 2021. pic.twitter.com/gQmc3SnhwH
Other solid free agent additions include slot corner Mike Hilton, who has helped give the secondary an edge, Riley Reiff, who offers a veteran presence on the right side of the line, and Larry Ogunjobi, who has one sack and 19 tackles, including four for a loss, which is second on the team to safety Vonn Bell.
As for Chase... does anything need to be said? He is the offense’s x-factor, the man who jump started Burrow’s deep game in the pros, the three-time Rookie of the Week after just six games. Chase has been everything experts said he’d be and more.
This was not your typical Bengals offseason. And, as a result, this is not your typical Bengals team. These players aren’t afraid of primetime or the Pittsburgh Steelers, as we saw in recent weeks. Now they get their next big test: trying to contain Lamar Jackson and the offense of the Baltimore Ravens while protecting Burrow against Baltimore’s blitzes.
We preview the Bengals vs. Ravens game in the video below:
You can also listen on iTunes or using the player below: