Bengals Schedule 2023: Ranking every quarterback Cincinnati will play
By Eric Bruns
4. Lamar Jackson (Ravens) - Weeks 2 and 11
Lamar Jackson is another quarterback coming off an injury this past year. However, he is coming back with a hefty new contract, which made him the highest-paid NFL player according to NFL.com. The Ravens were in a tough spot with the Jackson contract dispute as he only had one playoff victory under his belt and has been injured the past two seasons.
If they let him go who were they going to get that was better? They had to overpay to keep Jackson, which is life in the NFL. Even with these issues, Jackson is still one of if not the most dynamic quarterbacks in the league.
The issue is if you can contain him into one part of his game, usually throwing, it shuts down their offense. Plus, the Ravens are always a tough team because John Harbaugh is a great coach and they always boast a mean defense and Justin Tucker can make just about any field goal.
Jackson will always be a tough quarterback to play given the dual threat he poses. But once you make him a single-threat quarterback he folds, which is why Jackson is not in the top three on this ranking. Maybe the new contract will give him new life on the field.
3. Josh Allen (Bills) - Week 9
It's crazy how stacked the AFC quarterback talent is. There is an argument that six or seven of the top 10 quarterbacks in the league are in the AFC. For the last couple of years, Josh Allen has been at the top of that list, helping bring Buffalo back to the glory days of the early nineties.
However, last season felt like a regression for Allen. Where Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow still strike fear into their opponents, Allen didn’t seem to have that in 2022. He did still throw for over 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns but, the Bills weren’t as dangerous as they were in 2021.
Going into the divisional round game against the Bills, a lot of people had that game as a toss-up. This was understandable given that the Bills and Bengals were two of the three best teams in the AFC but, the Bengals completely dominated.
It’s clear that the Bills are desperate for a run game. They relied on Allen to do both the run and passing game and that is not sustainable. If they do not have one this season, Allen will still struggle. He could be on the downward slope.