5 second-year Bengals poised for big 2022 season

Ja'Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Ja'Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Eli Apple, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Bengals proved that one great offseason and a solid draft could do wonders for a one-year turnaround for a team. They had an impressive offseason last year and it took them all the way to the Super Bowl, though unfortunately, they came up just short of securing the franchise’s only title.

Here are five players heading into their second season in stripes that could take a giant leap or stay on queue with what they did in year one.

5. Eli Apple

Eli Apple got re-signed to a one-year $4 million deal after having a productive first season with the Bengals. Although, the times where he struggled are what is remembered, so many people’s minds are clouded that Apple is a lousy player, which simply is not valid.

Apple had a 60.9 Pro Football Focus grade, which is above average at his position. Now is Apple an elite cornerback? No, but on a one-year deal, it doesn’t hurt Cincinnati to bring him back, and they still have the NFL Draft if they feel they want to add to the position and give the former first-round pick some competition for the starting job.

Apple will have something to prove after the Super Bowl loss where he didn’t necessarily play bad, but he was in coverage when Cooper Kupp caught the go-ahead touchdown. The media did not hold back after the game when coming after Apple.

People tend to forget the tipped pass late in the fourth quarter against the Titans that led to a Logan Wilson interception or the touchdown-saving tackle against Tyreek Hill at the end of the first half to keep it a 21-10 game going into halftime. This will be a prove-it year for Eli Apple but he’s capable of having an excellent 2022 campaign.