The Cincinnati Bengals entered this season with Super Bowl aspirations. After all, they came so close to winning it all in the 2021 season when they entered the season with zero Super Bowl aspirations.
While the Bengals have the makings of an elite team, the fans expected a lot from these players and they simply haven't delivered. Whether these guys have disappointed due to injuries or have just fallen off of a cliff, they haven't risen to the occasion thus far.
Let's take some time to discuss the Bengals we expected a heck of a lot more from this season.
All offseason long, we listened to the contract disputes between the Bengals and Bates, who the team eventually slapped with the franchise tag. Despite Bates claiming he wouldn't play on the franchise tag, he came around but isn't playing his best ball.
On the year, Bates has decent grades from PFF but he doesn't look like the same player fans are used to seeing on the field. He struggled during the regular season last year too and then got hot during the playoffs so maybe we'll see something similar this year if the Bengals are fortunate enough to squeak into the playoffs.