The Chiefs and 49ers are proof-positive that things can change quickly. The Chiefs waited 50 years to get back to Super Sunday, and the 49ers were in the NFC West basement. Are the Bengals next to make that leap?
Both Super Bowl teams provide inspiration that tides can turn quickly for the Cincinnati Bengals in the Queen City. This article will look at how each organisation should provide Bengaldom with a lot of hope going into 2020.
Kansas City Chiefs
I for one am happy to see this old franchise and it’s loyal fan base in Miami this year. The team has speed across the offence but is very much built around its superstar quarterback – Patrick Mahomes, with Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman providing speed in the passing game. Mahomes was effectively a first-year QB last year having sat 15 games of his rookie year. The fact that the Chiefs have at least reached the AFC Championship Game both years he has started evidences that a superstar QB can hit the ground running fast, giving optimism for Joe Burrow to make an immediate impact. An offence centred around speed is always a possibility with 40-yard dash record holder John Ross on the roster.
The Kansas City Chiefs ranked 16th in total yardage allowed this regular season, after finishing 2018 31st in the NFL. This shows 2 things: if the Bengals offence is one of the hottest in the league, the defence must only be league average in order for the team to succeed and with the addition of a couple of key free agents (like the Chiefs gained in Frank Clark this year), the Bengals defence could see drastic improvements next year.
San Francisco 49ers
Despite not being alive for The Drive, I can’t say that I am a huge fan of San Francisco. However, their dramatic success this year can provide optimism for next years’ Bengals. San Francisco drafted SECOND OVERALL in the 2019 NFL draft and are playing in the big game just a year later, this shows that drastic change in fortunes is very much possible if things fall your way.
Since locking up the 1 seed against the Seahawks in Week 17, 49ers faced the Vikings and Packers in Santa Clara to make the Super Bowl. This shows to me that occasionally, the football Gods can provide a favourable path to the big game.
The 49ers demolished the Packers on Sunday with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo only throwing the ball 8 times. This demonstrates the effectiveness of a higher multiple, creatively schemed running game. Which team has a young innovative offensive mind at the helm and a running back Bill Belichick recently called “The best in the league”? Okay, I’m being heavily optimistic, and we have no idea if Zac Taylor can become Kyle Shanahan. However, Shanahan did not experience success immediately, going 10-22 in his first 2 years.