Cincinnati Bengals could realistically garner 4 big awards in 2021

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
1 of 5
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) – Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

We sit seven weeks into the NFL season, and what a glorious one it has been for Bengaldom! Who outside of the most wide-eyed optimist expected the Cincinnati Bengals to be sitting atop the AFC with a 5-2 record?

It seems like only yesterday the critics, experts, and pundits were excoriating the Bengals for not drafting some guy named Penei Sewell in exchange for taking Joe Burrow’s old favorite LSU target in Ja’marr Chase. How has that worked out so far? Suddenly the critics are silent and the national media is lavishing praise on the organization as a whole.

Zac Taylor was a marked man coming into 2021. Marked for the unemployment line if you listened to the Vegas oddsmakers. Based on raw results it seemed to be for good reason.

Despite the constant refrain of culture change, patience with Taylor was wearing thin. You can have good locker room guys but if the results don’t reflect in the win column, it means nothing. Seven weeks in and the culture change is finally starting to bear fruit. This is a cohesive team that genuinely appears to have that special chemistry needed to foster a deep playoff run.

So what’s my point? Where am I going by pointing out all the obvious from this so far successful season?

The Bengals could be on the precipice of pulling off a rare feat. There is a very real chance the Bengals could have the Coach of the Year, Offensive Rookie of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year,  and a fringe MVP candidate in Joe Burrow.

I will make a case for each and examine the competition for each award.