With the NFL Season hopefully approaching, here are 10 bold predictions for the Bengals’ 2020 campaign.
The Bengals had an abysmal 2019 season, ending the year with only two wins. After an eventful offseason, the reigning worst team in the league will look to improve. Things never go as expected in the NFL, so we take a look at the 10 things that could happen in the Bengals’ season that no one is expecting.
Jonah Williams will have a disappointing first season as a starter
Over the past couple of seasons, the offensive line has been one of the biggest areas of weakness on the entire Bengals roster. In an attempt to fix this, they selected offensive tackle Jonah Williams with the 11th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. However, after an injury at minicamp that caused the Alabama tackle to miss his entire rookie year, Williams has yet to play a single snap in the NFL.
Many expect the second-year tackle to come in and be a great left tackle, transforming the state of the offensive line. Fans should be hesitant to place such high expectations on Williams, though, because he will likely disappoint in his first year as a starter.
First, let me clarify that to disappoint he does not have to be bad. With the expectation from many that he will show himself to be a franchise left tackle during his first starting season, even an average year would be considered a disappointment by most. An average first year should be the expectation, however.
Williams has not played in an official football game since the Alabama Crimson Tide lost to the Clemson Tigers in the 2019 National Championship Game. He has never played a game in the NFL. To expect him to come into 2020 without any rust or any “rookie” mistakes is unreasonable.
Don’t get me wrong, I certainly expect Williams to have a fine career in the longterm, but in his first year of NFL play, expectations must be tempered. Playing in an offensive line with multiple weak spots, it will fall on the young tackle’s shoulders to pick up the slack of the other’s around him. In 2020, Williams likely will not be up to that task. Expect the former first-round pick to be a disappointment in his first year, whether that means bad, below-average, or even just average play.