5 things the Bengals must do in 2022 to return to the playoffs

Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
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Cincinnati Bengals center Trey Hopkins – Mandatory Credit: Albert Cesare-USA TODAY Sports /

3. Better blocking and protection for Joe Burrow

This is key and arguably the most important thing this year. Enough is enough with Joe Burrow getting sacked 70 times in a season. Sacks are a controversial stat because it is not always the offensive line’s fault if the QB is holding onto the ball or trying to create a play, and we often saw Burrow do that last year.

However, with the additions of La’el Collins, Ted Karras, and Alex Cappa and the anticipation for the emergence of Jackson Carman, the Bengals need to make this unit work.

Additionally, with Burrow heading into year three, he has yet to experience a season where he has excessive time in the pocket to distribute the ball, and they somehow still made the Super Bowl last year. Hence, it makes you wonder what the capabilities of Burrow and this offense could be.

Collins may have been the most prominent addition coming from the Dallas Cowboys. He has been one of the more reliable and efficient tackles in the league over the last three seasons. Cappa is coming over from the Bucs, who has played with Tom Brady and knows what it takes to win, and the same goes for Ted Karras, who also won Super Bowls with Brady in New England.

Frank Pollack emphasized having a group of “Glass Eaters,” which is exactly what they brought in with tough, blue-collar lineman in Cappa and Karras to protect the interior of the offensive line.