Cincinnati Bengals fans should be excited and patient during this rebuild

Joe Burrow #9, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Joe Burrow #9, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Okay, here’s a serious question. How excited should Cincinnati Bengals fans be as their favorite team prepares for another NFL season? Let’s do some inventory before we answer that, shall we?

It shouldn’t have taken you long to figure out that Joe Burrow, their second-year signal-caller has the goods. His final season at the NCAA level was no fluke. His ceiling is much higher than Andy Dalton‘s ever was. All that needs to happen now is for Cincy’s brass to build around him with some weapons and put an offensive line in front of him.

The Bengals took some major steps in that direction when they signed offensive tackle Riley Reiff and tight end Thaddeus Moss during the most recent free-agency frenzy. Then, they put some icing on their offensive cake by drafting three linemen on that side of the ball (Jackson Carman, D’Ante Smith, and Trey Hill) as well as some offensive talent in Ja’Marr Chase and running back Chris Evans.

Joe Mixon will be back as well, but fans should also get excited about this defense thanks to signings like Trey Hendrickson, Chidobe Awuzie, Mike Hilton, Larry Ogunjobi, Eli Apple, and Ricardo Allen and the addition of two defensive-end reinforcements (Joseph Ossai and Cameron Sample).

Cincinnati Bengals fans should be excited and patient during this rebuild.

Look around this Cincinnati Bengals fan base, and you’ll see smiles. Last season, they finished with a 4-11-1 win-loss total, but guys like Jessie Bates III are reason enough to be excited. Pro Football Focus seems to disagree.

They ranked Cincy as the worst AFC North team in a recent NFL power ranking with a one-percent chance of winning the Super Bowl, but when you take your emotions out of the argument as a fan, you can see some of the reasons why.

Every single one of the other three teams in the division made the postseason at the end of the 2020-2021 regular season. The Bengals have the division’s worst coach, and until they move on from Zac Taylor, a decision that may be coming sooner than you think, there isn’t much that’s going to change with this team from a wins and losses standpoint.

Then, there’s the aforementioned Joe Burrow. He’s going to be great, but right now, successful arguments can be made that he’s still the fourth-best quarterback in the division. At least that’s the case right now.

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Still, this Bengals team has some talent. This is a team that should make more noise in the AFC North than people are expecting, but at the same time, they’re still probably a coach, a few players, and a couple of years away from being true contenders in the AFC North. Once they check that off of the list, we can all revisit whether or not they can compete against the AFC’s elite. Be excited, but remain patient at the same time.