This feels like an awkward article to conceive. After all, how can there be any regrets from a Cinderella season that saw the Cincinnati Bengals dominate the Steelers, embarrass the Ravens TWICE, and solve the defacto QB1 in the NFL in the person of Patty Mahomes?
Nearly everything that needed to happen for the Bengals to make the playoffs happened. The team enjoyed relatively good health, Zac Taylor and company grew into their jobs, and free agency finally paid off.
Many pundits and armchair doctors, perhaps still suffering a mild case of Carson Palmer poisoning, predicted Joe Burrow would never be the same after being kneecapped last season. Wrong. Big time.
Many draftniks predicted the Bengals made a grievous error selecting the Franchise another toy instead of an overhyped offensive lineman. Wrong again. Big time.
It could be argued, I suppose that the Bengals and Burrow, in particular, would’ve benefitted from a high-round lineman. Perhaps, but would the team have won more games with Sewell instead of Chase? Absolutely not.
So looking in the rearview, there is very little not to like about last season. It brought so many long-suffering fans so much joy. This franchise announced their arrival as a preeminent power for many years to come. That doesn’t mean there aren’t a few “what if’s” a couple “shoulda, woulda, coulda’s”.
Let’s take one last look at a magical season and the three biggest regrets of 2021.