The Cincinnati Bengals continued to be flawed by their own mishaps and disasters that are usually the result of their own doing.
That said, the 2007 Bengals staggered their way to a 7-9 season. Much of that can be attributed to the fact that their defense gave up 24.1 points per game.
As usual, the offense was not problem for the Cincinnati Bengals. They scored 23.75 points per game. Carson Palmer put up 4,131 yards. Chad Johnson had 1,440 of those passing yards, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh had 1,143 of them as well. However, Palmer was not too efficient with his passing this season. He threw 20 interceptions and only 26 touchdowns. That ratio is becoming of second year gunslinger, not someone of Palmer’s experience and talent. The coaching staff needs to make sure that Carson is hitting the check down when appropriate, because clearly he is taking too many chances down the field with the ball.
Unfortunately for the Bengals, one of the areas that was not a problem for them on the field in 2007 is a problem for them off the field. Apparently, the Bengals may want to rid of WR Chad Johnson. If that is indeed the case, they had better make one heck of a deal if they are going to give up a guy who caught 93 balls and averaged 15.5 yards per catch with 8 touchdowns to boot. If I were them though, and trading Chad was necessary, then I am definitely looking to make my defense better off this trade. Whether that means a couple of first day picks, or one really good defensive start, defense is the best way to go for a team that got ran through like a ribbon at the finish line. What positions should they be looking to fill on defense? Good question.
First of all, they really need help with their pass defense. The initial part of that defense that is the problem is their defensive line. They get no pressure on the quarterback whatsoever. In fact, the Bengals finished last in sacks with only 22 for the season. That left opposing quarterbacks with all day to throw the ball, and with a weak secondary in place, that added up to 26th ranked pass defense that allowed 230 yards threw the air per game. The addition of a free agent pass rusher like Terrell Suggs from the Baltimore Ravens or Jared Allen form the Kansas City Chiefs would be a big pick up for the Bengals. If they look to go to the draft to address this problem, DT Sedrick Ellis from USC has amazing quickness, and will be a tough dude to block in the NFL.
The secondary badly needs a player that can play man-to-man defense. The Bengals love to blitz, but they can’t match up down the field. They need to get Deltha O’Neal out of the starting line up and draft a solid corner that has the ability to at least play nickel back right away. They could go back to the Denver Broncos pool and try to steal Dominique Foxworth out of restricted free agency. And even though that may seem difficult, Foxworth won’t be a starter on the Broncos for sometime with Bailey and Bly there, so they may not want to match a decent offer. Marcus Trufant and Drayton Florence are available via free agency, and would be even better fits than Foxworth, but they will come at a price that the Bengals would have to reach deep down in their pockets to afford.