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CBS Sports has Bengals offense ranked outside top 5

There’s no question this unit has the potential to be the league’s best, but that requires the offensive line taking a major step forward. That would also allow Zac Taylor to be far more aggressive than we’ve seen.

NFL Combine Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

As long as Joe Burrow is healthy, the Cincinnati Bengals offense will be one to be reckoned with.

Just last week, CBS Sports’ Jared Dubin ranked the Bengals’ trio of Burrow, Joe Mixon and Ja’Marr Chase as the NFL’s second-best “triplets,” trailing only the Los Angeles Chargers.

That’s not even accounting for what Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and Chris Evans are capable of, as this skill-position group is arguably the best in the entire league.

The problem is the offensive line has been a major weakness for several years now, which has kept this unit from reaching its full potential. The Bengals went out of their way to upgrade it this offseason, but we still haven’t seen this revamped group in action.

That’s part of why Dubin, in a separate CBS article, has the Bengals’ offense listed as a Tier II unit and ranked No. 8 overall. He gave the offensive line a 3.5 out of 5 grade, which is tied for the worst grade of any top-10 team.

Dubin also knocked head coach Zac Taylor for his conservative tendencies. Taylor got a 3.5 grade as the Bengals’ play-caller, which was also tied for the worst any top-10 team had.

However, it is fair to wonder how conservative Taylor would be if he wasn’t consistently working with one of the NFL’s worst offensive lines since he joined the franchise in 2019. I have a suspicion we’ll be seeing a far more aggressive Taylor this year if the line takes the step forward we all expect of it.

Be sure to check out the full CBS Sports ranking here.