The Cincinnati Bengals have a lot of ground to make up before they become competitive, and they could be in for a slow year of growth.
The Bengals had a big offseason of new faces. Selecting a new franchise quarterback and overhauling the defense are two of the biggest areas of excitement for fans. However, as recent history tells us, teams that select at the top of the draft do not usually jump to being playoff contenders. The Cardinals, Browns, Giants, Bears, and others have taken a franchise-changing quarterback and then still struggled the next season.
Cincinnati would love to jump to the top and immediately begin competing within the AFC North, but a 2-14 record should pump the brakes on those expectations. When a team selects first, it is because there are a lot of areas that need to improve before they can be expected to compete.
The Bengals should be prepared for what could be a long season. Even ignoring factors that plague all teams like potential injuries, Cincinnati still has some glaring holes that could present serious problems. In order to prepare for a year that could bring more heartache, here are some pessimistic predictions about all the things that could go wrong for the Bengals this year.