When they’re not playing the Browns, the Bengals have one of the better defenses in the NFL, led by linebacker Logan Wilson and safety Jessie Bates III. Newcomers Chidobe Awuzie and Mike Hilton have played a crucial role as well.
However, with Trae Waynes continually sidelined and Eli Apple having given up several big-play opportunities, there was a clear hole, one that’s hampered the Bengals over the last few weeks.
It was clear and obvious that something had to be done after the Bengals defense was thrashed by Mike White’s Jets. White threw for over 400 yards.
Cincinnati had actually identified the problem prior to that disappointing result, claiming Seattle’s Tre Flowers off waivers on October 14. Flowers played the first five games of the season with the Seahawks, having seen snaps in three straight for Cincinnati.
The Bengals recently continued their trend of adding to their secondary by claiming Vernon Hargreaves as well. The 26-year-old played the first eight games of the season with the Texans. That addition happened on November 4.
Zac Taylor believes these two additions will “pay dividends,” Bengals.com’s Geoff Hobson wrote.
“I think what’s smart is we’ve added veteran corner experience and anyone who’s been around this league long enough knows that in November, December, January, that’s going to pay dividends having a lot of guys there for a variety of reasons,” said Taylor. So it’s good to get some guys who have played ball in the NFL before.”
While Taylor didn’t indicate it was because of Apple’s poor play, but he does rank unfavorable according to PFF, sitting at just a 46.4 rating. At the very least, Apple will now have some competition, which is more than the Bengals could say before the addition of these two veteran cornerbacks.
With Derek Carr and Patrick Mahomes still left on the schedule, the Bengals will need certainly need help covering up some of the weapons for a couple of the league’s most-aggressive quarterbacks.