3 offseason moves the Cincinnati Bengals have to make to take the next step

It’s a talented club that dealt with some key injuries and still nearly made the playoffs. However, the Cincinnati Bengals have yet to hoist a Lombardi Trophy.

Jan 8, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) celebrates a
Jan 8, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) celebrates a / Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Bolster the interior of the defensive line

Yes, the loss of quarterback Joe Burrow for the final seven games of the season was a big blow, despite the fact that backup Jake Browning impressed as his replacement. On the other hand, what happened to a Cincinnati defense that had been making strides in recent years? In 2022, Lou Anarumo’s unit was 16th in the league in fewest total yards allowed per game, while only seven teams in the league had allowed fewer yards per game on the ground.

Despite the fact that defensive end Trey Hendrickson finished tied for second in the league with a career-best 17.5 sacks, the team looked helpless vs. the run. Defensive tackle D.J. Reader with a big-time pick-up by the team in 2020, but he was injured in Week 15 and missed the final three games. The Bengals ranked 26th in the league vs. the run, gave up the second-most total yards in the league and also finished 28xx in the NFL against the pass.

That rushing defense needs to be addressed, especially in a stacked division where the Ravens, Browns and Steelers like to run the ball. Reader can hit the free-agent market in March. Will the Bengals re-sign him and also add another big body up the middle?