Cincinnati Bengals: 2019 quickly becoming a season of evaluation
When reality makes its presence known, pretending otherwise is a recipe for disaster. For the Cincinnati Bengals, the time is drawing near for an evaluation process that will determine what come next.
While some saw a better start than 0-3 for the Cincinnati Bengals, the season of promise shown in Seattle looks to be on a tenuous ledge. A loss at AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers would drop them to 0-4 and all but wrap the season.
So then what? 1-3 or 0-4 doesn’t mean ALL is lost, but it’s not an indication that the Bengals are an A.J. Green away from suddenly contending. The fixes required for a team with deep-rooted issues won’t all come in 2019. The offensive line, defense, running game, etc., are all issues that are glaring three games into the season.
Even quarterback Andy Dalton will soon be under the evaluation microscope like everyone else in Cincinnati. It’s logical, and for a franchise mired in the mud, it’s also a bill coming due.
I’ll say it here first. The Cincinnati Bengals aren’t a playoff team. They aren’t the worst team in the NFL, but they also aren’t one that will finish at .500 with a world of promise “as is.” That’s OK. Eventually, this organization will need to sweep out the old and forge a new way forward.
Zac Taylor needs to soon segue to the evaluation mode. It’s fair to say that the current edition of the Bengals won’t be close to what fans see in 2020. That’s a good and necessary thing. Taylor needs to start getting that long look at who will be part of the long term plan and who will not.
Frankly, it’s long overdue. Cincinnati can still have a good season. They still might. But this is also a team that as currently constructed, doesn’t compete for a playoff spot much less a division crown.
The holes in this roster are the type that will be offseason fixes. Taylor will also need to look at his offense and see where those fixes begin. A bad offensive line, underwhelming running back, and most importantly and aging quarterback and receiver in Green, are player who may help the Bengals if they were playing elsewhere.
Hey, this happens. This is no longer about “reloading” as some diehards might want to fool you into believing. Cincinnati is closer to a rebuild than a contender. Anyone who tells you differently is lying to you, and to themselves.