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Ranking the AFC North Defenses....and what does it mean for the Bengals?
#1
If you read anything about the offseason on 2020 (outside the Rona), you will likely see a lot of love for the Baltimore Ravens. With good reason. They added Derek Wolfe and Calais Campbell to their already solid defense. They had a solid draft, adding JK Dobbins and some young talent at WR.

That all being said, I can't help but think a great deal of their defenses success were attributed to their amazing offense. Team would fall behind and become one-dimensional. When they got to the playoffs, Tennessee had a design to greatly reduce their offensive output, largely by keeping them off the field. I can't help but think the league will have a few more answers on how to limit them offensively in year two and the back end of their defense is still suspect, especially at LB position.

They signed DJ Fluker for a one-year deal, but did so because of the retirement of one of the best Guards in the league for the past decade, Marshall Yanda. Not much is being said of the Fluker for Yanda swap. It could be a huge difference for their offense.

I like how the Ravens are built and Calais Campbell is a beast, but I can't help but think the steelers (puke) have a better defense heading in to the 2020 season. They were really good last year, despite having one of the worst offenses in the league. They paid a high price for Mincah Fitzpatrick, but he is clearly worth it. Devin Bush is a playmaker, and they have a strong defensive line. If the steelers offense is even just solid in 2020, their defense could be the best in the division.

The Browns are a huge wildcard. It reminds me a lot of the Colts under Manning where they had tons of weapons but only a few top tier players on defense. I honestly have no idea what to expect other than their coaching staff looks to be a massive upgrade over the useless Freddy Kitchen. I would place their defense as tied for third with the Bengals.

If the Bengals offense can be what we all hope with Burrow and a stable of weapons, the Bengals defense could improve dramatically simply by not always being put in bad situations and not being on the field so long. The addition of Reader in the middle, with Von Bell, and Josh Bynes offers THREE significant upgrades right off the bat. The young speedsters at LB should also help and that could pay dividends in terms of allowing the pass rush to get home. If Lawson can stay healthy and Hubbard continues to develop, the pass rush could be improved as well. The back end is a bit of a wild card as I don't know which WJIII we will get and if Waynes and Alexander fit the scheme and produce as well. I will say this: If Reader, Bell, Bynes and the young LBs stay healthy, the back end will be in a MUCH better position to produce.

Thoughts?
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#2
That is VERY good point on Fluker; Yanda constantly made that right side (full of nobodies at RT) stronger; will that make a big difference now? We'll see.
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#3
1. Steelers
They are super solid at all 3 levels. Their dline lost some quality
Depth in FA. Bush and Watt are absolute playmakers.
Dupree has turned his game up a notch.
Year in year out its really sound tackling team and their
Playmakers always show up in the 4th q.

2. Ravens. Alot of seasoned talent in the front 7.
But their depth isn't what it once was. Signing Bynes
Was a great move on several levels by the Bengals.
Their secondary might be the weak part of the defense

3.Bengals. alot of potential at all 3 levels. But Reader needs to dominate from the get go. That way Atkins can win his matchups
And less double teams means less wear tear on his frame
I think Lawson is the X factor up front.
Finally the Bengals have guys that can cover at LB.
And can actually wrap up and make the tackle before the 1st down
Sticks.
I think the defenses success will be tied into Burrows success.

4. Browns. Really solid dline. But I see more names than production
Outside of Garrett.
The Browns LBers are the worst group in the North.
Again they have another D-coordinator. They get a new one every year it seems like. They will struggle
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#4
I believe our defense will take a giant leap forward this season. I feel we will easily end up somewhere in the middle of the pack. And when you've been one of the worst defenses in the league getting to 15 is a big jump.

Just imagine what getting off the field 1 more time per game on 3rd and long would do. Then imagine what actually getting some short fields on turnovers would do.

Then add in an offense that can actually score points and make the other guy play from behind.

The Ravens are good, all the way around, there's little doubt. I'm not convinced the Steelers D is all of that. They're good no doubt but how good ? The Browns ? I'm in no way convinced they're anything.
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#5
There's hardly any doubt Baltimore is going to be scary good again this year. Not quite as sold on steelers and browns. Our guys are going to be better on paper but we just don't know for sure. Super stoked to find out tho. Just hope the dark cloud leaves the queen city where the injuries are concerned. Tired of season ending injuries in TC and PS. We have to learn to stay healthy. BF74 brings up a good point about keeping the "D" off the field a little longer. Those guys were exhausted last year. Way too many 3 & outs to have an effective D for 4 qtrs even though they did suck.
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#6
What I like about the Bengals D is that when Atkins
And Dunlap come off the field the D doesn't lose a step

Theirs youth in the back 7 who may yet have not peaked
As players yet. To many times we've seen bums like Preston
Brown and BW Webb and Hardy Nickerson just get roasted
In matchups and teams would it exploit it to death.
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#7
(06-25-2020, 01:37 PM)bengalfan74 Wrote: I believe our defense will take a giant leap forward this season. I feel we will easily end up somewhere in the middle of the pack. And when you've been one of the worst defenses in the league getting to 15 is a big jump.

Just imagine what getting off the field 1 more time per game on 3rd and long would do. Then imagine what actually getting some short fields on turnovers would do.

Then add in an offense that can actually score points and make the other guy play from behind.

The Ravens are good, all the way around, there's little doubt. I'm not convinced the Steelers D is all of that. They're good no doubt but how good ? The Browns ? I'm in no way convinced they're anything.

As much as I hate to admit it, they were REALLY good last year despite a pathetic display from turds at QB on offense.  I'm sure Piggy is grinning ear to ear about the prospect of when he comes back the offense suddenly looks really good.  They have lost a lot of talent on offense, but as usual their defense will keep them in every game.  Their defense will win some games.  
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#8
(06-25-2020, 02:39 PM)impactplaya Wrote: What I like about the Bengals D is that when Atkins
And Dunlap come off the field the D doesn't lose a step

Theirs youth in the back 7 who may yet have not peaked
As players yet. To many times we've seen bums like Preston
Brown and BW Webb and Hardy Nickerson
just get roasted
In matchups and teams would it exploit it to death.

When you look at names like that and replace them with Josh Bynes, Mackenzie Alexander, and Logan Wilson/ADG/Bailey how can the defense not make huge strides?
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#9
(06-25-2020, 02:56 PM)SHRacerX Wrote: When you look at names like that and replace them with Josh Bynes, Mackenzie Alexander, and Logan Wilson/ADG/Bailey how can the defense not make huge strides?

Did you see PFF had a blurb about the top rated LBERS 
In the red zone last year.?

1.Bobby Wagner 91.7
2????
3. Muchal Kendricks 89.1
4. Jaylon  Smith 88.0

Guess who was #2 was ?
Hint hint ....he's a Bengal. 
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#10
(06-25-2020, 03:46 PM)impactplaya Wrote: Did you see PFF had a blurb about the top rated LBERS 
In the red zone last year.?

1.Bobby Wagner 91.7
2????
3. Muchal Kendricks 89.1
4. Jaylon  Smith 88.0

Guess who was #2 was ?
Hint hint ....he's a Bengal. 

Has to be Germaine Pratt, right?
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#11
(06-26-2020, 08:18 AM)SHRacerX Wrote: Has to be Germaine Pratt, right?

Josh Bynes
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#12
(06-26-2020, 08:36 AM)impactplaya Wrote: Josh Bynes

That's great.  I think he isn't getting much love because people see him as a back of his career guy, but a veteran LB with his experience (especially in our division) is going to be a nice addition.  Good stat.  Thanks.  
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#13
(06-26-2020, 09:09 AM)SHRacerX Wrote: I think he isn't getting much love 


WTF?

He has a cult following here.

I have not seen a fan base so excited about signing a 31 year old back up LB for a league minimum contract since we got A.J Hawk.


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#14
(06-26-2020, 10:45 AM)fredtoast Wrote: WTF?

He has a cult following here.

I have not seen a fan base so excited about signing a 31 year old back up LB for a league minimum contract since we got A.J Hawk.

Cult following?  I must have missed that thread.  I think it was a great move to get another veteran that is light years better than Preston Brown and getting him from a division foe is also great.  
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#15
(06-26-2020, 10:45 AM)fredtoast Wrote: WTF?

He has a cult following here.

I have not seen a fan base so excited about signing a 31 year old back up LB for a league minimum contract since we got A.J Hawk.

Personally, I'm really stoked that the team will build the D around Bynes.
To Dare Is To Do! COYS!!!
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#16
Anybody that grades in the 90s that means
You have skills and ability to impact a Game
At some point. When you are graded out along side
Names like Bobby Wagner and Jaylon Smith
That speaks for itself.
I don't think Preston Brown or Nick Vigil graded a,combones
90 in the red zone last year
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#17
I am not sold on the Ravens D. They've got names but were porous when they had to play more than 30 minutes of it. The Browns got over 500 yards in 30 minutes. Chiefs did similar. I imagine it could get even worse when the injuries set in.
Steelers D got even better and the Browns have a good D-Line but possibly one of the worst LB cores in the NFL. Why did they not sign Schobert with all that cap space?!
I have no idea about our own D, to be honest. But aside from suffering from an impotent offense, I imagine the roster will benefit from addition by subtraction there. Im excited for Reader though.
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#18
(06-26-2020, 10:45 AM)fredtoast Wrote: WTF?

He has a cult following here.

I have not seen a fan base so excited about signing a 31 year old back up LB for a league minimum contract since we got A.J Hawk.

(06-26-2020, 03:29 PM)SHRacerX Wrote: Cult following?  I must have missed that thread.  I think it was a great move to get another veteran that is light years better than Preston Brown and getting him from a division foe is also great.  

What!?!?!!? Where have you been. It's flooding the boards. I think we need an "All things Josh What'shisname" subforum. 
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#19
(06-26-2020, 10:45 AM)fredtoast Wrote: WTF?

He has a cult following here.

I have not seen a fan base so excited about signing a 31 year old back up LB for a league minimum contract since we got A.J Hawk.

Cult???

No its people proving you wrong about him with all your lame attempts to discredit him.
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#20
Our defense is going to shock the NFL world this season.
We improved our biggest weaknesses from last season with replacing Brown with Pratt. We continued to get better at the position with Wilson and ADG at LB. The D-Line is A+ and the secondary is a B+ which could turn into an A- .
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