NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks envisions the Cincinnati Bengals returning to contention sooner than many expect.
Despite a major influx of talent, the vast majority of the football world sees the Cincinnati Bengals falling in the 4-8 win range for the 2020 season. If the team falls closer to the lower end of that spectrum, it would be considered a failure by many.
However, NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks envisions the Queen City witnessing a more competitive team sooner rather than later. After an offseason where Bengals fans were peppered with insinuations that the front office could never build a winner, this has to be welcome news.
“I know, I know: The Bengals just went 2-14, which is why they were in position to draft Burrow at No. 1 overall in the first place. It’s difficult to envision such a franchise being a group on the rise. But trust me: This isn’t your typical top-pick-holding team.”
Brooks is absolutely right. The Bengals are certainly not void of talent and they most definitely possess more weapons than that of a typical cellar dweller.
A lot went wrong, causing Zac Taylor’s team to a league-worst record of 2-14. Injuries to A.J. Green and Jonah Williams, two of the players expected to play the largest roles, are chief among those reasons.
With both of them set to return, along with a free agent class full of defensive playmakers and a nationally touted draft class bursting at the seams with leadership, things are looking up.
After addressing many concerns this offseason, one that still remains is the play calling. Taylor looked to be in over his head at times last season, especially in the red zone. After Brooks had a conversation with the man calling the shots for the Bengals, however, he feels good with the direction things are going,
“…but when I spoke to him at both the Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine, he told me that he was getting more comfortable in his role and felt better prepared to handle all of the responsibilities on his plate. I believe we will see a more confident and composed play caller in 2020. With a year under his belt, Taylor will be able to build better game plans for his quarterback.”
Again, this has to be reassuring to hear from a highly regarded analyst. If Taylor can find a way to oversee the rest of the team and still manage to show off his bright football mind in the form of calling plays, fans are in store for a much more active scoreboard this season.
Brooks goes on to discuss a positive that Joe Burrow mentioned on the Rapsheet + Friends podcast. The LSU-product stated that the Bengals’ offensive coaching staff requested that he send his favorite plays to them so they could better incorporate his style in the offense.
Burrow saw an astounding surge of production under the offense that his coordinator, Joe Brady, built. If the Bengals can keep Burrow in a similar system, the world has already seen what he’s capable of. Doing so would ensure he’s comfortable and make his transition much smoother.
Not many people expect the Bengals to be competitive any time soon, even with the tremendously talented Burrow in stripes. But for the reasons Brooks listed, along with others, there is more than enough hope to go around. Don’t be surprised if the city of Cincinnati gets a taste of postseason victory soon.