The Cincinnati Bengals are 5-2 and tied for first place in the AFC North.
No one predicted this team would jump out to this quick start.
Yes, quarterback Joe Burrow is a great player, but the preseason belief was that more time was needed to build around him.
His LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase was drafted.
The Bengals offense is clicking and might be stealing some of the thunder of the equally powerful and proficient Bengals defense.
Last week against the Baltimore Ravens, the Bengals D caused Lamar Jackson to struggle; another thing no one has seen this season as Jackson is on an MVP pace.
The Bengals defense has several impact players; one of the most notable is defensive end Trey Hendrickson.
What Has Hendrickson Been Up To
Recall that Hendrickson was a free agent at the end of the 2020 season.
He spent his first four seasons with the New Orleans Saints who drafted him in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
The Saints could not afford to keep him; he was a salary cap casualty.
Trey Hendrickson could be pricing himself out of New Orleans. NFL co-leader in sacks during a contract year when the Saints have a challenging salary cap situation for 2021.
— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) November 24, 2020
Many teams wanted to add Hendrickson to their rosters.
Besides the Bengals, notable frontrunners included the Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, and New England Patriots.
These teams knew what a valuable player Hendrickson is.
— DLineVids (@dlinevids1) October 26, 2021
In the end, Hendrickson signed a four-year $60 million contract with the Bengals.
So far, he has been worth every penny of that contract.
Through seven games with the Bengals, Hendrickson has 6 1/2 sacks, 8 solo tackles, and 11 quarterback hits.
The 26-year-old Hendrickson has been an imposing presence for opposing quarterbacks with his 36 quarterback pressures which is tied for second-highest in the NFL.
Top 5 QB Pressures this year 👀
— Raiders Report Mitchell Renz (@MitchellRenz365) October 27, 2021
Many argue that he is sorely missed by his former team, the New Orleans Saints.
Trey Hendrickson, dudes a monster https://t.co/7diMRgMtyA
— Manuel Garcia (@Chan_the_maan) October 28, 2021
The Saints are missing Trey Hendrickson…he doing his thing with the bengals.
— Mr. Stillman (@EStillman23) October 24, 2021
Hendrickson Credits Coaching And Execution
After the win over the Ravens, Hendrickson talked about the factors contributing to the win.
“It’s Good Coaching And Good Execution.”
He is a humble person and a team player who repeatedly credits everyone around him for his outstanding performance.
Hendrickson noted that the team is not satisfied with the Ravens win.
Earning consistent wins and not falling into complacency are the goals as the season wears on.
He admits he is a part of a special group, a locker room and a brotherhood that he is happy to be a member of.
Watching Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard work opposing offenses over has been a common theme in 2021.
Pretty fun watching Sam Hubbard & Trey Hendrickson rush the edges together.
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) September 19, 2021
Bengals Upcoming Games
The Bengals take on the New York Jets in Week 8 before facing interstate and division rival, Cleveland in Week 9.
They have a Week 10 bye.
The Bengals won the first inter-division game played among AFC North teams in 2021 last week over Baltimore.
This is an explosive and interesting division where each team is .500 or above.
Watching the Bengals, Steelers, Ravens, and Browns play each other multiple times going down the stretch of the season will be interesting.