Minimize mistakes from a rookie quarterback
The next key to the Bengals’ success in 2020 ties directly to the previous three: minimize mistakes from rookie quarterback Joe Burrow. Yes, Burrow had the best season in college football history. Yes, he is probably going to be a star. However, the NFL is a completely different beast and rookie years can be rough for even the best prospects.
Burrow is bound to make rookie mistakes, but if the Bengals can cut those mistakes down through offensive gameplan, their offense could be a juggernaut. How do they do this? Design the offense in such a way that he’s less likely to have rookie moments. Focus on the running game and feed the ball to Joe Mixon. Heck, they should even get Giovani Bernard more involved and form a dangerous dual running attack. Rely on the talent of Burrow’s receivers to make the plays instead of forcing Burrow to be the one to make the plays.
Burrow is a playmaker and should certainly get opportunities to make big plays himself, but with so many talented receivers it would only make sense to design a system where he manages games in his rookie year instead of having to put the offense on his back.
If the Bengals can cut down on Burrow’s mistakes and be safe with the ball, they have the offensive talent to beat anyone in a shootout. With the current state of the NFL being so offense driven, Cincinnati will have to hold Burrow’s hand in his rookie year and help him adapt to his new league, regardless of how good he was in college.
The quarterback position is the most important job in football. If your team’s signal-caller is below average, it can be hard to win games, especially in the pros. The play of Joe Burrow in his rookie year will be the most important factor of the Bengals’ 2020 playoff hopes.