Bengals get mixed reactions around NFL for decision to start Brandon Allen

The Bengals decision to start Brandon Allen at quarterback over Ryan Finley has received mixed reactions around the NFL.

The decision by the Bengals to start Brandon Allen at quarterback over Ryan Finley has been mixed around the NFL. Allen was activated off the practice squad on Monday following the season-ending injury to star rookie QB Joe Burrow. Finley went 3-10 for 30 yards with an interception in relief of Burrow on Sunday.

The poor performance by Finley in the 20-9 loss to the Washington Football Team on Sunday created an opportunity for Allen to pass Finley on the depth chart. Multiple sources are reporting that Allen will start but nothing has been made official by the Bengals yet. Finley is still listed as the first-team QB.

Allen and Finley both made all three of their career starts during the 2019 season. Finley lost all three of his starts with the Bengals last season plus Cincinnati lost the lead on Sunday against Washington after the Burrow injury. Allen went 1-2 in three starts with the Denver Broncos in 2019.

Allen knows the Zac Taylor offense when both were with the Los Angeles Rams during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. With Taylor as the offensive coordinator and Allen as a backup QB, the Rams were the 2018 NFC Champions. The responses to the decision to start Allen over Finley have been mixed on social media.

Finley has completed 45.4 percent of his passes for 504 yards, two TDs, three interceptions and a paltry 55.5 passer rating during his short NFL career. Allen has a nearly identical stat line completing 46.4 percent of his pass attempts for 515 yards, three TDs, two INTs and a nearly as anemic 68.3 passer rating.

The question from many fans and even former NFL offensive lineman Rex Tucker is why was Finley the backup to Burrow if he is not starting on Sunday? That is a question that has to be answered by Taylor and Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan. Other questions will remain over the last six games of 2020.

The Bengals starting QB job is now apparently Allen’s to lose. A strong showing through the remainder of 2020 would solidify the starting role for Allen potentially into the beginning of next season. There is no guarantee that Burrow will be ready in the 2021 season opener. The Bengals could sign a veteran in the offseason.

The Bengals players are still probably processing the injury to Burrow. In some ways, it will not be real until they take the field on Sunday against the Giants. The starting QB on Sunday has not been made official by anyone on the Bengals. Gio Bernard did not provide any information to reporters about Allen or Finley on Wednesday.

The Bengals have to focus on the New York Giants as a team over the next four days. Cincinnati returns home against a team struggling equally to them, but with a chance to make the playoffs because of the weakness of the NFC East. Developing the healthy players should be the goal for the remainder of 2020.