Why a Bengals turnaround should be expected this year

epierce
ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 18: Head Coach Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals talks to his team on the sidelines against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 18, 2015 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 18: Head Coach Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals talks to his team on the sidelines against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 18, 2015 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

This is the year of optimism. Bengals fans should be ready for a side of the franchise never before seen. Get ready for the return of drama and excitement.

While good news about the Bengals is hard to catch sight of, the 2017 season will be one that finds the franchise in superb shape. There should be no doubt about the final destination of the Orange & Black. But, that belief must be shared by everyone from the front office down to the stadium crew cleaning after games. All the signs are there for a turnaround. It’s all about how it gets done.

Before the meltdown of 2016, there was a rising feeling that the Bengals were just a heartbeat away from getting it done. The possibility of a Super Bowl berth was freely flowing from the mouths of fans and analysts.

The near miss against Pittsburgh in the Wild Card game helped fuel thoughts of Cincy in the Big Dance last year. But, injuries, offensive problems and general ineffectiveness kept the Bengals under .500 and out of the postseason.

This season will be a do-or-die scenario for a few Bengals. With that said, they’ll be putting out an effort that could reap benefits for Cincinnati and make it a 50th anniversary to remember.

Gettin’ Inked Up 

More from Bengals News

No, not tatted. The Bengals have a trio of employees (yes, it’s about cash) that will be under the microscope for extensions. The furious and beastly leader of the defense, Vontaze Burfict, is in the last year of his contract. It doesn’t take a whole lot to get Burfict riled up and ready to play. He’s a true throwback warrior and loves the contact. He’s also the emotional hotspot for DC Paul Guenther. This will be a chance for Burfict to really show Bengals brass what they have. His skills will be fine-tuned and on display. In other words, “Release the Kraken.”

If you’re one of the few that happened to forget, Tyler Eifert is also looking at a contract season. This will be a pivotal year for Eifert, as he needs to prove his durability. There’s no doubt he’s a force when on the field and healthy. But, his tendency to get hurt has been the Bengals’ Achilles’ heel. His best efforts will be put forth to help the passing game have the depth it lacked last year.

The Big Cheese

Yup, you guessed it. Marvin Lewis will once again be under the gun, on the hot seat and generally coaching to save his job. Lewis explained, per ESPN, that he would be starting the campaign with no contract in place. Essentially, he’s known that he’ll have to get the team back to a level acceptable to Mike Brown.

Brown is at that stage of his life. He wants to hold that Lombardi before…you know. Paul never coached a championship team in Cincinnati. Getting a Super Bowl win during the 50th anniversary would be an honor of sorts to PB.

Next: Primed To Be Great

The first obstacle Lewis will be looking to smash will be the playoff drought. That first win will be addictive. With that, Bengals fans will see a string of W’s in the postseason.

It can happen. This is the year of optimism.

facebooktwitterreddit