The Bengals may have flaws in several places, but there’s one thing fans should be excited about – the pass rush. Carlos Dunlap flourished in the second half of last season, finishing his rookie year with 9.5 sacks overall. Defensive tackle Geno Atkins also had a solid rookie year, recording three sacks and a number of quarterback pressures. Michael Johnson had 2.5 and a few passes deflected. Free agent pickup Manny Lawson had 6.5 two years ago and rookie Dontay Moch shined as a pass rusher in college.
Thus, if the Bengals defense can win on the early downs, they have enough weapons to create some havoc in obvious passing situations. It also helps that the team signed nickel linebacker Brandon Johnson and former Oakland Raider Thomas Howard, two speedy players who excel in pass coverage.
So amid all the worries and frustrations that always linger below the surface for Bengals fans, there’s at least one positive to cling to.
If nothing else, the pass rush should be pretty good.