6 things the Bengals must do to sneak into the playoffs in 2020

Cincinnati Bengals, Joe Mixon (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals, Joe Mixon (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals, Michael Jordan (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

Focus on improving the offensive line

The biggest question mark headed into the 2020 season for the Bengals is their offensive line. After a weak season in 2019, the front office hardly gave o-line coach Jim Turner much more to work with.

Cowboys backup guard Xavier Su’a-Filo was added in free agency and Hakeem Adeniji from Kansas was drafted in the sixth round. Besides those two additions, it will be a relatively similar offensive line to 2019. While a veteran quarterback could learn to work with a shoddy offensive line, it could be detrimental to a rookie like Joe Burrow.

In order for the line to step up in 2020, the young guys are going to have to improve. Second-year guard Michael Jordan had a rough first year despite impressing everyone on the way to earning the starting job. If he can live up to the respect the coaching staff still has for him, his potential breakout in 2020 could be crucial.

2019 first-round pick Jonah Williams is another name to look out for. After being selected with the 11th overall pick, Williams suffered an injury that took him out for the entirety of the 2020 season. If he can return from injury and live up to the spot he was selected at, Williams’ play at left tackle could make or break the Bengals’ season.

The right tackle position is another to look out for. Bobby Hart has held the starting spot on the right side for the last two years and has left much to be desired. Hart will have competition this season in Fred Johnson. Johnson was an undrafted rookie in 2019 who managed to get playing time towards the end of the season. In his few games of play, Johnson impressed and showed that there may just be greener grasses than Hart.

If Jordan, Williams, and Johnson can step up in the 2020 season, the Bengals could field their best offensive line since Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler departed. This would improve both the team’s running and passing games, potentially vaulting the offense into a top ten unit in the entire league.