The Cincinnati Bengals were not supposed to be as good as they are. Their preseason wins total from most sportsbooks was set at 6.5.
They now have eight with three games still to be played.
Many thought their offseason was filled with questionable spending, adding talents like Trey Hendrickson from New Orleans and Chidobe Awuzie from Dallas. Mike Hilton, who came from the Pittsburgh Steelers, has also been crucial to their success. The list goes on for Cincinnati.
With that in mind, the Bengals have been very good behind the efforts of several key players, many of which should get recognition in the form of a Pro Bowl nomination.
As you may have seen this week, Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, defensive end Trey Hendrickson and running back Joe Mixon were voted to the AFC team for the 2022 NFL Pro Bowl game. Quarterback Joe Burrow and long-snapper Clark Harris are second alternates. Defensive end Sam Hubbard and defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi are fourth alternates. Cornerback Mike Hilton is a fifth alternate
But who really deserved a Pro Bowl berth most on the Bengals roster?
Joe Burrow, in his second season, has been the lifeline of the Bengals. Also a nominee for Comeback Player of the Year, Burrow has been incredible.
Burrow is PFF’s highest-graded quarterback. He has the eighth-most passing touchdowns and 8th most passing yards. Captaining an 8-6 team, Burrow had eight straight games of two or more passing touchdowns. He’s been that good.
Last season, Joe Mixon was snubbed a Pro Bowl spot. This year, he’s making it difficult to deny him one.
Mixon has already recorded his third 1,000-yard season, currently at 1,094 through 14 games. He’s done that on 262 carries. Mixon has three games of over 120 yards. Mixon ranks second in the NFL in rushing yards.
Awuzie has 47 tackles, 12 passes defended and three interceptions on the season.
While that might not seem overly impressive, he’s been tasked with defending some of the league’s best receivers and has done very well. Awuzie is allowing a career-low 56.6% completion rate when targeted. He’s earned an 80.2 PFF grade.
No. 5 overall pick Ja’Marr Chase has been an absolute stud. While he was the favorite to win Offensive Rookie of the Year for a while, he should at least get some Pro Bowl votes. Chase’s 74 yards per game ranks 11th in the league.
He’s averaging 17 yards per catch and also has 10 touchdowns, routinely being Burrow’s deep threat. Chase has 61 receptions on 102 targets.
Trey Hendrickson is one game away from tying the league record for consecutive games with a sack.
He’s been absolutely incredible, totaling 13 sacks in 14 games. He’s currently fifth in the league in sacks. Hendrickson, whether it be by getting to the quarterback or by drawing penalties, has been a key difference-maker.
Now, it’s your turn to let your voice be heard. VOTE!
Which Bengals has earned a Pro Bowl appearance the most?
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