Bengals News

Cincinnati Bengals: Worse in 2019? Not by a Long Shot

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LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 15: Head coach Zac Taylor of the Cincinnati Bengals looks on against the Washington Redskins during the first half of a preseason game at FedExField on August 15, 2019 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 15: Head coach Zac Taylor of the Cincinnati Bengals looks on against the Washington Redskins during the first half of a preseason game at FedExField on August 15, 2019 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 30: A.J. Green #18 of the Cincinnati Bengals catches the game winning touchdown pass during the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 30: A.J. Green #18 of the Cincinnati Bengals catches the game winning touchdown pass during the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Healthy Weapons  

When all the weapons are healthy, the Bengals should be considered top 10 as far as offensive talent goes. AJ Green, Tyler Boyd, Tyler Eifert, Joe Mixon, Giovanni Bernard, and John Ross. If you could guarantee that all of these players would stay healthy, a lot of the rankings and projections would be very different. In fact. Green and Boyd already have been ranked the 8th best WR duo by NFL Media Senior analyst Gill Brant’s “Top 11 WR duos in 2019” article. This was prior to Green’s ankle injury, but let’s not forget how good this duo can and will be.

https://twitter.com/pff_bengals/status/1056995284390240262?s=21

The offensive weapons staying healthy is the only thing that coaches and players really don’t have much control over. In 2015, the Bengals had the least number of games lost due to injury according to Football Outsiders. In 2018. they had the fifth most.

A player like John Ross might be slightly prone to an injury like hamstring tightness due to the nature of his speedster role. However, Green and Eifert aren’t any more prone to have defenders land on their legs the wrong way than other players, those are just freak accidents. The odds are actually in the Bengals favor that they will drift back towards the median of the NFL and be less injury affected this season than they were last year.

However, should the injury bug bite the Bengals in a big way again, this roster is better equipped on both sides of the ball to handle it. In 2018, the Bengals fielded the second youngest roster in the NFL at the beginning of the season.

The upside of star players being out of the lineup last year is that players like C.J. Uzomah, Auden Tate, and Sam Hubbard gained legitimate game experience. Then, consider that the team added some quality talent to back up key roles with players like breakout wide receiver Damion Willis who will be starting in place of the injured A.J. Green in Seattle. Here is some good information on Willis from Evan McPhillips of PFF Cincinnati.

Cincinnati drafted Impressive young running backs in Trayveon Williams and Rodney Anderson. The Bengals also addressed the backup quarterback position by drafting Ryan Finley, who has had a strong preseason. Having these quality rookies in place certainly makes the Bengals look more capable of weathering the storm should a key player need to heal up for a couple games.

Since we already know that a key player in Green will be missing for a couple games, some might be tempted to say that the team is without a true number one wide receiver. However,  Tyler Boyd had a breakout year last season and just got paid.

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