The Cincinnati Bengals have been in rebuild mode for the last several years, but with some key additions, there is a chance the team could sneak into the playoffs as a longshot in 2021.
The Bengals finished last in the entire NFL in 2019 and were in the basement of the AFC North in 2020. That typically is not the record of a team that would look to push for a playoff spot the following season. However, with the improved play last season (especially by the offense) and the addition of some new faces, there is optimism once again in the Queen City.
In order to even consider making the playoffs, there is a lot that has to go right for the Bengals. What is different this year is that it is not impossible that the team can make the jump from basement dweller to playoff contender. Cincinnati will need some help across the board, but they have the pieces in place to make some noise.
There are three things that will absolutely have to be true for the Bengals if they do not want to end up drafting in the top five again next season, but success in these areas will equate to winning a fair number of football games.