The reigning AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals have had a tough start to the season.
Starting the year 1-2 was not in their plans but defensive end Trey Hendrickson was a big reason for that one win.
In Week 3, Hendrickson recorded four tackles, 2.5 sacks, and four QB hits.
That performance helped him bring home the AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.
He was the ultimate disruptor for the Bengals on Sunday and he is clearly showing why the Bengals paid him so much.
Before the 2021 season, Hendrickson signed a four-year, $60 million contract with Cincinnati.
Hendrickson was one of the most underrated players in the NFL while with the Saints.
In his last season in New Orleans, he recorded 13.5 sacks and that was a big reason for his massive payday.
The 27-year-old has been the best defender on the Bengals ever since he put on that helmet.
Recording 14.0 sacks last year in Cincinnati was very impressive and he helped lead the defense to the Super Bowl.
His 3.5 playoff sacks last year show his impact on the field.
Sometimes these players that get paid after one big season do not turn into much.
But, that is not the case with Hendrickson.
His aforementioned Week 3 performance was dominant.
Not just the sacks but the impact he had consistently getting pressure on Joe Flacco was a big reason for the blowout victory.
Trey Hendrickson vs the Jets:
🟠 94.2 PFF grade
⚫️ 94.7 pass rush grade
🟠 2.5 sacks
⚫️ 8 pressures
🟠 32.3% pass rush win rate pic.twitter.com/VfbeisBKHW
— PFF CIN Bengals (@PFF_Bengals) September 27, 2022
It is only a matter of time before the whole league starts recognizing Hendrickson as one of the best edge rushers in the league.
He has good speed and athleticism coming off the edge along with a relentless motor.
The former third-round pick has the third-most sacks amongst all the players in the 2017 draft.
The NFL is loaded with talented defensive players and it is very difficult to win Defensive Player of the Year.
But, Hendrickson has what it takes to bring home the most prestigious defensive award.
He already has the Defensive Player of the Week and the multi-sack performances are what makes an elite season.
Now in Week 4, Hendrickson will play on Thursday Night Football in a tough matchup with the undefeated Miami Dolphins.
The edge rusher will be going up against the Dolphins’ offensive tackle Terron Armstead, who is one of the better tackles in the league.
This will be a great matchup in the trenches.
Quickest Pass Rush Get-Off this season:
Myles Garrett 0.63 sec
Joey Bosa 0.75 sec
Trey Hendrickson 0.77 sec
Khalil Mack 0.78 sec
Micah Parsons 0.78 sec pic.twitter.com/6MzlTxKSDf
— Pinhead Sports® (@_PinheadSports) September 22, 2022
Hendrickson will have to be dominant again on Thursday if the Bengals are going to be victorious.
Cincinnati would fall to 1-3 will a loss so this game at home is a must-win.
Miami is a very good team with an explosive offense.
But, pressuring QB Tua Tagovailoa is the best way to slow down that offense.
Each year the DPOY has one or two moments where you know he is a special player.
This Week 4 matchup with Miami could be the chance for Hendrickson to continue his DPOY campaign.
Keep an eye on number 91 as he looks to be very disruptive on Thursday night.