The Bengals were not only last place in their division, but last place in the entire NFL. So, what are the odds that the Bengals can get back to first place?
NFL.com’s Adam Schein ranked all eight division losers in 2019 in order of their likelihood to get first place.
The Bengals were ranked seventh out of eight, with only the Jaguars having worse chances.
Joe Burrow has it. And with the Heisman Trophy winner at the helm, I think the Bengals are going to win some games you don’t expect them to. Burrow’s flanked by an enticing collection of skill players: wide receivers A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd and rookie Tee Higgins, as well as running back Joe Mixon. And Cincy finally spent some money in free agency, boosting the defense with DT D.J. Reader, CB Trae Waynes and S Vonn Bell.
But this roster still has issues, starting with the offensive line. (Not ideal, with a rookie quarterback under center.) Six or seven wins is very possible. First place is not.
Getting the wide receivers healthy and replacing half of the starting defense will help Burrow in his rookie year. However, the Schein still doesn’t believe in the blocking up front.
The Bengals believe in their current offensive line, for better or for worse. They deemed that Xavier Su’a-Filo and Akeem Adeniji were the only changes they needed.
As much as the Bengals have improved, it’s impossible to say how this group will mesh and how the coaching will improve. The Browns proved last year that you actually need to play the games before you can prove yourself in the NFL.
The Bengals won’t finish 2-14 again, but can they unseat the Ravens in the AFC North? That’s a tall order.