NFL Season Preview: Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals shocked the world a year ago, going on a fantastic playoff run that culminated in a shot at the Lombardi Trophy, and while they unfortunately came up short against The Los Angeles Rams, they showed that this was and is a team to be reckoned with, and that as long as Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase are in town, no one should take them lightly. It's very hard to capture lightning in a bottle twice in the NFL playoffs unless you have a very, very good team, and while the Bengals have a great team, backing up that performance for an entire season may be a lot harder than most expect.


The biggest positive for this Bengals team is two-fold: the chemistry they built throughout their incredible run to the Super Bowl, and the chemistry that their young QB Joe Burrow has with this offence, who, when they're clicking, can be one of the best aerial attacks in the entire NFL. Not to mention that one of their biggest weaknesses from a year ago, the offensive line, has been slightly improved with the signing of La'el Collins, and with all of these factors, anything can happen in 2022 with such talent. 


Unfortunately for the Bengals, the front office didn't fix one of their other big weaknesses, and that was the secondary, who were repeatedly torched late in the season, especially Eli Apple, who came under plenty of scrutiny online for his performances down the stretch. That may have been a case of just an unlucky run, but the fact that the Bengals didn't go out and spend big may either be ignorance, or a belief in Apple's ability to rebound, but either way, teams will target them there until they can be shown that it's no longer a weakness.

Team MVP

The team MVP here could go one of two ways, either QB Joe Burrow or WR Ja'Marr Chase, and considering the connection that these two have had dating back to their days at LSU, they wouldn't have it any other way. However, we are going to go with Ja'Marr Chase, who had a scintillating rookie campaign, and if he can improve upon all the promise as the Bengals No. 1, this team will be very dangerous indeed, and Chase will be able to establish himself as one of the top-5 receivers in the entire National Football League. 

Record Prediction

The Bengals snuck through last year with a record of 10-7, but every team in the division has improved over the off-season, so it's not going to be quite as easy in 2022, especially when they're not sneaking up on anyone this year, as the entire NFL is aware of the talent on this squad. They won't take a huge step back because of this, but with all those factors in mind, it's going to be hard to win 10 games and the division again, so in 2022, we see the Bengals finishing with 9 wins, and sneaking through to the postseason as a Wild Card squad. 

Photo Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK
Photo Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK