Pick a word, any word, to describe this Cincinnati Bengals team halfway through the 2021 season. Surprising. Anchored. Most improved.
Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report recently revealed a list providing one-word descriptions for every NFL team “based on win-loss records, offensive and defensive rankings, roster moves and standout individual performances.”
Of the Bengals, Moton writes: Promising.
"The Bengals have the roster pieces to become a playoff contender and make a run for the AFC North title. They beat each of the Steelers and Ravens by two or more touchdowns. The Bengals have a top-six player in passing yards (Joe Burrow), rushing yards (Joe Mixon) and receiving yards (Ja’Marr Chase) with the No. 6 scoring defense. They’re not going to flame out late in the season."
We’ll take it. This Bengals team is nearly unrecognizable from last year, sitting in second in the AFC North but recording some very impressive performances through eight weeks of the season.
The two games against the Steelers and Ravens stand out the most, as does their most recent matchup against the New York Jets (for different reasons).
But why shouldn’t the Bengals be a “promising” team in 2021?
Cincinnati Bengals are described as “promising” by Bleacher Report
They have some of the league’s best players in Burrow, Mixon, and Chase, not to mention their top-ten defense that has kept elite offenses in check.
Compared to their record in recent history, Cincinnati has built their team on solid ground in 2021 with not only a much improved O-line but upgrades at every position on the field. Unlike many other teams, the Bengals don’t have a glaring weakness or soft spot at the moment; barring an unfortunate Week 8 loss to the Jets, Cincinnati still looks strong as ever going into the second half of the season.
And the Bengals got one of the best descriptive words, too. The Cleveland Browns got “limited” and the Pittsburgh Steelers got “deceptive” along with a short phrase that reads, “Don’t buy into the 4-3 Steelers.”
Bleacher Report was harsher on other teams, but we feel like their assessment of Cincinnati’s 2021 season so far is spot on. Promise, spunk, entertaining football — this Bengals team has it all.