Bengals: How many games does Zac Taylor need to win to save his job?

Eric Bruns
Cincinnati Bengals, Zac Taylor (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals, Zac Taylor (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Zac Taylor’s first two seasons as the Cincinnati Bengals head coach has been marred by difficulty. The first season he took over a team whose quarterback’s best years were behind him in Andy Dalton. The defense wasn’t the same defense that Marvin Lewis had helped cultivate in his tenure.

In Taylor’s second year, his team got a lot younger under the leadership of rookie and franchise savior hopeful Joe Burrow. However, Burrow tore his ACL after having to do too much behind a less-than-stellar O-Line. All of this led to two unimpressive years in Cincy leaving Taylor with a 6-25-1 record.

So, can Taylor save his job this year? What does he need to show in his third season to keep his job?

Honestly, I will be surprised if Zac Taylor loses his job at the end of the 2021 season. First, given how loyal the Brown family is, they tend to give their coaches and players more time than they probably should before moving on. Also, taking into account how much was stacked against Taylor when he took the job, not many people expected him to find success out of the gate and that’s been the case.

Last year was a tough situation for any new or fairly new head coach to be in. Dealing with COVID, players opting out, Burrow going down with an ACL injury, and a brutally tough division, all of these things stacked against Taylor and made it hard for him to be successful last year.

I do believe he’ll get this year and probably next year to get back on track. Burrow is looking on track to get back to regular form, Joe Mixon will be leading the backfield, and their wide receiving core is filled with riches.

If the O-Line can protect Burrow and give the holes for Mixon to run, this offense will be able to put up points. If they can put together five or six wins and look competitive and stay healthy all year, then Taylor will keep his job for at least another year.

The only way Taylor will be in the hot seat is if the team is healthy and struggling and they only put together one or two wins, regressing from last year’s four-win campaign.

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If regression occurs and the Bengals win fewer games than they did in 2020, then Zac Taylor will be looking for a coordinator position somewhere.

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