3 reasons the Bengals will be better than people think in 2021
By Alex Austin
Bengals should revert to mean in close games
Over the past several years, the Bengals have struggled to win close games. In 2018, Cincinnati had six games that were decided by seven points or less. In that year Cincinnati split those games, winning three and losing three.
The 2019 season saw a drop for the Bengals in their ability to win close games. Cincinnati had seven games end with scores less than seven points apart, but this year they were not able to win any of them, going 0-7 in close games.
In 2020, Cincinnati was starting a rookie quarterback, but still had a lot of excitement about the possibilities for the season. Part of what needed to happen was finding a way to win those close games, but the team could not get it done. The Bengals went 1-5-1 in games decided by less than seven points.
For Cincinnati to make a significant improvement, they will need to revert back to the mean of winning roughly half of their close games. For last year that would be winning two or three extra games, which would take the Bengals out of the basement of the NFL and toward the pack of mediocre teams.
After a few years of being at the bottom, a mediocre year doesn’t sound too bad.