Unfortunately, the Cincinnati Bengals’ defense ended the 2020 season on a historically bad note. However, there were stretches in the season wherein the unit showed significant growth from the prior year.
Even so, there were some great individual performers on that side of the ball. Cast your vote for the winner of the 2020 Bengals’ Defensive MVP and sound off on your winner!
Carl Lawson, edge defender:
The fourth-year player continues to be one of the lone, consistent pass-rushers on this team. He finished with 5.5 sacks, but another telling stat was his finishing seventh in ESPN’s sacks created metric.
Lawson also had a career-high 36 tackles and had two passes defended. The biggest eye-opening stat was his 32 quarterback hits in 2020.
William Jackson, cornerback:
Jackson only had one interception on the season, but was one of the best overall defenders on the team. He had a respectable 71.4 overall Pro Football Focus score for the season in which he also had a career-high in tackles (45) to go with 11 passes defended.
The biggest feather in Jackson’s cap with the Bengals is his ability to greatly limit the opposing passer’s completion rate. He’s been one of the tops in the metric since entering the league.
Jessie Bates III, safety:
Bates’ 2020 campaign may have been the best by a Bengals safety in team history. He was designated a second-team All-Pro, though he should have been a first-teamer and Pro Bowler.
Bates had his third-straight season of 100-plus tackles and continued his streak of notching three interceptions in a season since he entered the league in 2018. He also had the highest passes defended number of his career with 15 and had an outstanding PFF score of 90.1 for the year.
Sam Hubbard, edge defender:
While Hubbard’s pass-rush numbers dipped a bit this year, he was particularly effective against the run. He had 62 total tackles, with five for loss and was one of the best edge defenders in the league to close out the year.
Hubbard finished 2020 with two sacks and a 68.0 overall PFF grade. It was quite the rebound from a midseason dislocation of his elbow.
Logan Wilson, linebacker:
The Bengals have seemingly found their inside linebacker of the future in Wilson. The rookie finished with 33 tackles, including four for loss, in 2020.
Wilson also added two interceptions, three passes defended and two quarterback hits last year. We’re looking forward to see what the future has in store with more snaps for No. 55.
Who gets your vote for the 2020 Bengals defensive MVP?
This poll is closed
Carl Lawson, Edge
William Jackson, Cornerback
Jessie Bates III, Safety
Sam Hubbard, Edge
Logan Wilson, Linebacker