The Cincinnati Bengals have found a way to run the football efficiently over the past couple of weeks by rarely doing it. But on defense, they don’t have such an option which is why they’re in need of an upgrade for their 19th-ranked defense in yards per attempt.
Obviously, injuries to players like DT D.J. Reader and LB Logan Wilson have been a big part of said struggles, but contenders should always be on the lookout for potential improvements at the trade deadline.
One player who could help out in that area is from a team that’s currently in sell mode; the Carolina Panthers.
NFL.com analyst Kevin Patra believes the Bengals should trade for defensive tackle Matthew Ioannidis. Here’s what he wrote in a recent article outlining the best team-player fit potential trades in the league:
“Ioannidis has played well in Carolina this season, eating up blockers. He’s played particularly well against the run, an area where the Bengals have struggled this season — ranking 29th in ESPN’s run-stop win rate metric. Ioannidis would fill a big hole in the middle of the Cincinnati defense as the Bengals gear up for an AFC North battle over the next two months.”
While Ioannidis is a player who won’t light up the stat sheet, his value as a run defender lies in his ability to occupy blockers and make life easier for his teammates.
That doesn’t mean he can’t get to the quarterback, however. Ioannidis ranks 18th in the NFL in total pressures among interior defensive linemen with 16. He’s had at least five pressures in two games this season.
Burns brought the pressure.
Ioannidis followed up 🤝 pic.twitter.com/B0gMkzlAKE
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) September 18, 2022
With a contract that expires after this season, the Bengals could get the veteran defensive tackle for a late-round draft pick.
There hasn’t been a lot of noise about Cincinnati exploring a trade but as the team regains its confidence on offense, there’s no reason to not act as a legit contender in the AFC.