The Cincinnati Bengals have had four consecutive losing seasons, and to start each one, the team had hope following an offseason trying to improve their most glaring issues as an organization.
Last season was one of the most destructive to the morale of Bengals’ fans. They ended the draft having secured a potential star in Jonah Williams, who could’ve solidified their league-worst offensive line.
Williams was injured and ruled out for the season. It didn’t matter because A.J. Green could’ve solved the Bengals’ oftentimes stagnant offensive, tag-teaming with the then-reigning AFC rushing leader, Joe Mixon.
But, he didn’t return on time, and with his sidelining, Mixon’s play suffered as the threats for Cincinnati continued to dwindle.
Even then, the Bengals mere 21-20 loss away against Seattle in Week 1 potentially brought in even more hope that the season was still headed in the right direction, especially since the one-point loss was such a nail-biter.
Then, the losses started to pile on. All the way to 0-11, the last winless team in the league.
That’s what begs the question — what makes this season different?
Well, Joe Burrow makes the difference. Jonah Williams. D.J. Reader. Vonn Bell.
Money will make the difference, and it’s started with Mike Brown finally spending to both A) keep his team in tack this season and B) bring in additional talent to surround the team’s potential franchise quarterback.
But, we oftentimes said the same things in years past, just without the few additions. We’d see Williams and think all had been fixed. It’s tough to continue to trust an organization that has shattered expectations in a bad way.
This time, it appears they’ve changed in a way that should bring a few more happy Sundays to the Queen City. As the Bengals are set to open as one of the lowest teams in NFL rankings, there’s no denying that they’ll have the ability to shock the world.
So, yes, entering this draft there is once again hope. It’s been crushed before and could be crushed again. But, at the end of the day, many of the most diehard Bengals fans would never give up on the team.
That is unless they don’t draft Joe Burrow.