Bengals Schedule 2023: Ranking every quarterback Cincinnati will play
By Eric Bruns
6. Geno Smith (Seahawks) - Week 6
There was not a single person on this planet who thought Geno Smith would do what he did in Seattle in 2022. Many people predicted them to have a top-five pick in the draft. They did thanks to a trade with the Denver Broncos where they sent Russell Wilson.
Judging by how bad Wilson looked last season, and juxtaposing that with Smith’s inexplicable good play, one has to ask if Pete Carroll is just that good of a coach. Is he able to scheme in a way to play to his quarterbacks’ strengths and makes them look better than they are?
It’s possible that Wilson was mediocre and Carroll was just masking the fact. In any matter Smith looked like an entirely new quarterback, he played like he was expected to when he was drafted 10 years ago. Seriously, who had Geno Smith as a 4,000-yard passer on their NFL bingo card?
We’ll see if last season was just a fluke or if Smith has matured into a good passer. If it is that latter then the Bengals' defense will have their hands full. If it’s a flash in the pan, Smith could crash and burn before mid-season.
5. Kirk Cousins (Vikings) - Week 15
You could use one factor to determine where Cousins should rank on a list like this one. What time will the game be played? If the game is in primetime, you could put Cousins last as he seems to go back into his shell like a turtle under those bright lights.
However, if the game is played at 1:00 EST, then he is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. The only other quarterback I can compare it to is our beloved Andy Dalton. Unfortunately, you cannot use that metric for this game.
Currently, its time is TBD (To Be Determined) so Cousins feels like a top-five quarterback on this list. All digs aside (thought warranted and accurate) Cousins has always been a solid quarterback, however, he is another player who has reached their ceiling.
He is not going to win a Super Bowl simply because he is not the type of player to lift a team and put them on his shoulders. This will be a tough game because the Vikings are a good team, but Cousins is not as scary of a quarterback as you could get.