The Cincinnati Bengals just won the AFC Championship for the first time since way back in 1988, and for only the third time in their history. The 2021 season marked a turning point for a franchise that has been underwhelming and underperforming for the past 30 years, thanks to a combination of bad management and ill-considered draft picks.
Unfortunately, Zac Taylor’s charges narrowly lost out to the Los Angeles Rams at the Super Bowl, but this recent success has put the Mike Brown-owned side in a strong position to push on next term with increased confidence and optimism.
Bengals Expected to Compete Again Next Season
Going into the 2021-22 season, the Bengals were massive outsiders to win the Super Bowl at odds of around +15,000. For the 2023 event, they are currently priced among the favorites in the outright sports betting markets with odds of roughly +1800. It’s certainly not a bad opportunity to use a free bet as part of a welcome offer, as the Bengals are certainly in a good place right now.
The main reason why the Bengals are predicted to fight at the top again for the next few seasons is down to the wealth of up-and-coming talent in their roster. Three Bengals made the top ten clutch players for the 2021 season, with no other side offering more than one player for the list. Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase are the standout stars, with the latter described by Chad Johnson as the best wide receiver in the team’s history and the former now among the NFL’s best quarterbacks.
Everything depends on how the Bengals act in the offseason now and what they’re able to achieve: if they can make some clever Draft picks to build on the firm foundations which are now in place at the Paul Brown Stadium, they could storm their way to the Super Bowl once again.
What does Taylor Need to do to Strengthen?
Burrow has often been described as a miracle worker for Cincinnati and managed to overcome an incredible 51 sacks on the way to the playoffs. To put that into perspective, only five other quarterbacks in the history of the sport have been able to better that in one season. The 25-year-old also became the first player in his position to ever win a playoff game after surviving nine sacks, which is a truly remarkable stat.
There’s an argument to suggest that Burrow was overperforming in the 2021 season with his magical displays, and Taylor can’t rely on him to save the day every time in the years ahead. Perhaps, the 2021 season was a one-off, which would be a big risk for the Bengals. That’s why the primary aim in the offseason will be focused on improving the quarterback’s protection. This will come in the form of bringing in players that can boost the offensive line and reduce the risk of the Bengals suffering so many sacks next time out. According to various reports, signing Terron Armstead from the New Orleans Saints will be a top priority
Most people agree that the forward line is the glaring area that the Bengals need to work on going into next season. In addition to bringing in fresh faces, they need to make decisions on existing players like Jonah Williams, who is heading into the final season of his rookie deal.