Zac Taylor’s first few seasons in the Queen City have gone a little rougher than anticipated.
After Marvin Lewis was fired following a six-win 2018 season, Taylor was brought in from Los Angeles. The franchise was crumbling as veterans like Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, and A.J. Green were all dropping off in terms of that high-level explosiveness.
That doesn’t necessarily excuse Taylor’s first season, in which he won just two games. However, that pitiful season did land the Bengals the top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
They drafted superstar LSU quarterback and Ohio native Joe Burrow. Burrow's first season in the NFL didn’t help Taylor’s case much as he went down with a torn ACL, among other knee damage, in Week 11. Burrow was 2-7-1 in his ten starts.
It was assumed the team was going to give up and have another two-win season.
The fact that they had the nerve to down the Pittsburgh Steelers late in the season and end with four wins may be what keeps Taylor around. The team was clearly playing for their head coaches spot late in the season.
That said, according to the odds from BetOnline, Taylor is sitting with the sixth-best chance to be the first coach let go in 2021. He’s tied at +1200 with Arizona’s Kliff Kingsbury. I’d think, given the expectations in Cincinnati, Taylor will have some room for error.
The perfect combination of a coach to get canned early is a team that has high potential and doesn’t produce.
That’s why Dallas’ Mike McCarthy is No. 1 on the list at +750. The Cowboys have the Bucs, Chargers, Eagles, Panthers, and Giants. If they start 0-5, McCarthy will likely be looking for a new place of employment.
Taylor, with the team seemingly having his back, should have some time as the third-year head coach still has a ton of young talent that will need to get acclimated to the speed of the NFL.