The following article falls into the category of whoa crazy crazy fan conspiracy theories. This is purely speculation. With that said, the Bengals are currently winless and there are some suspicious inconsistencies that may suggest that at some level this organization intended to tank the 2019 season from the very beginning.
For example, do we really think that nearly EVERY player suddenly got worse during one offseason? A lot of people like to point out the poor play of guys like Andy Dalton, Bobby Hart, and Dre Kirkpatrick. but whoever is YOUR favorite player is probably experiencing they’re worst graded season also. Here is a tweet where LockedOn Bengals podcast host Joe Goodberry highlights the players with the biggest drop in PFF grades from last season.
As Joe points out, that’s pretty much EVERYONE. What the heck is going on? A logical explanation is that these players are not well suited or completely adjusted to their new system and coaches. However, this article will be focused on the less logical, yet still probable theory that this team has been set up to fail from the very beginning.
The following slides will present individual pieces of evidence that vary in how far fetched they sound, but are all theories that have been mentioned amongst Bengals fans. Maybe they’re all hogwash, or perhaps there’s a seed of truth hidden somewhere in this madness. However, before we get into the evidence that suggests that tanking was always the plan, let’s look at the potentially nefarious reasoning behind taking a stealth approach.