While the Cincinnati Bengals defense doesn’t shoulder much of the blame for the early season struggles, one of the areas they needed to improve upon was their pass rush. Last year, the man for the job was Trey Hendrickson.
With 14 sacks last season, it was a matter of time before Hendrickson got it going this year, which is exactly what he did Sunday.
Hendrickson, a consummate pro, will tell you he doesn’t care about statistics. While he may not care, the fact remains, the Bengals defense is better when No. 91 is getting pressure.
Trey Hendrickson not worried about stats "They'll come. The win is what matters. You're playing for your brothers next to you." pic.twitter.com/M6utTSHPwV— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) September 25, 2022
Even if he doesn’t check the stat sheet, it looked good Sunday. With 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles (both recovered by B.J. Hill), Hendrickson had the sort of dominant impact on the game we saw from him in his first season in Cincinnati. Even when he wasn’t bringing Joe Flacco down, he had several other pressures and four QB hits on the day.
When asked about Hendrickson postgame, head coach Zac Taylor had high praise for the defensive end, saying, “He’s just relentless. We know how special Trey is and today really proved that.”
As the Bengals return to the right side of the win column, the offense will get their due praise, but the impact Hendrickson had can’t go unnoticed. When an offense is struggling, the defense can be their best friend and strip-sacks leading to short fields and extra possessions are just what the doctor ordered.
If Hendrickson is able to continue to be a game-wrecker and the offense continues to progress and find their stride, the 0-2 start could quickly become a thing of the past.