The Bengals are hoping that Joe Burrow’s recovery from his 2020 ACL injury continues to progress and that they will have their franchise quarterback for Week 1. In 2020, Cincinnati saw flashes of Burrow taking over games with his arm while still adjusting to the speed of the NFL.
It is going to be fun to watch from a fan’s perspective to see just how much Burrow has grown from Year 1 to Year 2, but former-Super Bowl winning defensive end, Chris Canty, thinks that Bengals fans are going to be in for an incredible show next season.
Cincinnati spent the 2021 offseason getting Burrow some new weapons and a few upgrades along the offensive line. They replaced A.J. Green with Burrow’s favorite target from LSU, Ja’Marr Chase, and now the quarterback has a trio of wide receivers that should give opposing defenses headaches with Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins.
The team also brought back Frank Pollack to coach the offensive line, and he brought along Riley Reiff and rookie offensive guard Jackson Carman to fill a few holes that have desperately needed filled the past few seasons. If Pollack is able to get this unit to play at even an average level then this offense could create some serious fireworks.
As for leading the AFC in yards and touchdowns, that may be a tall task for Burrow this year. Players, coaches and the former-Heisman winner himself have noted that Burrow’s game seems to be improved with him able to essentially recreate his mechanics from the ground up. However, there is still the matter of guys like Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and possibly Deshaun Watson to compete with. Watson led the NFL with 4,823 passing yards and Mahomes led the AFC with 38 touchdowns. If Burrow even sniffs those numbers then 2021 will be an incredible turnaround for the Bengals.
Time will tell how 2021 plays out. There isn’t much doubt that in the next few seasons Burrow will be at the top of the AFC stat leaders, but coming off an ACL injury may make 2021 a little too bold of a prediction to have Burrow leading the conference. If he does end up with those big numbers then the Bengals are likely making their way to the playoffs and Zac Taylor has had his job saved. If he doesn’t reach those numbers then odds are a healthy 2021 will lead to a monster 2022 for Burrow and the Bengals.