If you read Mike Florio or listen to Dan Patrick, then it seems like the world is ready to write off the Bengals.
Truth be told, the Bengals were abysmal in 2019. The roster was beat up, the head coach was inexperienced, and the team only managed to win two games.
But things are looking better in 2020, and a few people are noticing. Peter Schrager of NFL Network is one of the few out there in the national media that is optimistic about the Bengals.
He said on Wednesday’s episode of Good Morning Football that the Bengals will be the league’s most surprisingly explosive offense in 2020.
“I know everyone’s rolling their eyes. A.J. Green didn’t play a game last year,” Schrager said. “They didn’t have anyone named Tee Higgins on the outside. Joe Mixon was running behind an injured offensive line. Their first-round pick, Jonah Williams, was not on the field. He’s back this year. And oh yeah, they get Joe Burrow.”
Between Green, Williams, and Burrow, the Bengals will have three first-round picks that they didn’t have last season. Then, they get Higgins, who was a second-round pick that could have been a first-round pick.
“I know everyone’s gonna think it’s gonna take two or three years for this team, but they get so much talent back on the field,” Schrager continued. “And so much new, young talent that they didn’t have last year. And I think they could be surprisingly offensive.”
In one offseason, they have turned two positions from liability to advantage. The wide receiver group just got deeper, and Burrow is an instant upgrade at quarterback. Most of their core players on offense are still on their rookie contracts, so that means they’ll be around for a while.
“I also like Zac Taylor. I think he did a lot of things well last year despite them having just a 2-14 season,” Schrager concluded. “The offense put up points, and that was with a lot of skill position players that were not as good as the ones you’re gonna see this year. A.J. Green’s an All-Pro. I love Higgins. I love Burrow. And I think the running game gets even better with an enhanced offensive line.”
You can see the full video below:
The most surprisingly explosive offense in 2020 will be ____________.@RealMikeRob ➡️ @Browns@PSchrags ➡️ @Bengals@ShaunOHara60 ➡️ @AtlantaFalcons@SlaterNFL ➡️ @HoustonTexans pic.twitter.com/IqWLWWmCru— GMFB (@gmfb) July 22, 2020
The Bengals may be a few years away from serious contention, but their offense could right the ship this season.
But given how often the Bengals are trashed in the media, any amount of explosiveness would surprise a lot of people.