Ever since the decline of Vontaze Burfict, linebacker has consistently been a major weakness of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Going into the 2021 season, it didn’t look like that would change much, if at all with Logan Wilson and Germaine Pratt returning to their starting spots after poor 2020 seasons.
Thankfully, both players improved enough in 2021 to make a major impact for the defense, highlighted by several game-changing plays in some of the biggest wins of the season.
In the playoffs, we saw Pratt (23-16 win over Raiders) and Wilson (19-16 win over the Titans make critical interceptions in the final minutes of those two thrillers. Pratt finished the postseason with a 72.8 PFF grade compared to a 76.4 mark for Wilson. As long as they keep playing at that level, the Bengals’ linebacker group should be a solid unit in 2022.
Then you’ve got a promising group of youngsters in Markus Bailey and Akeem Davis-Gaither that should improve.
It certainly helps that the defensive line is a real strength for this defense, and the secondary should also be improved thanks to several notable additions in the 2022 NFL Draft.
In the end, how do you see this unit performing compared to last season? Let us know below!