The Cincinnati Bengals joined an NFL revolution when they hired Zac Taylor as the 10th head coach in franchise history.
That’s the “Hire A Young Coach” revolution as Taylor was just 35 years old at the time of his hiring.
What started with Sean McVay swept the league after he enjoyed success with the Los Angeles Rams.
Thus, the Bengals replaced long-time head coach Marvin Lewis with the former Nebraska quarterback.
The Cincinnati faithful hoped that Taylor could turn the franchise around.
Zac Taylor and Joe Burrow speak with the media following today's practice. https://t.co/8sUQxkEPZz
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) August 18, 2021
However, his first season was one of disappointment and frustration.
Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green did not play for the entire 2019 season due to torn ligaments in his ankle.
With their talent level shallow, the Bengals finished with a league-worst 2-14 record.
The Bengals made significant upgrades on both sides of the ball during the 2020 NFL Draft.
Both rookies did fairly well during their rookie campaign.
Burrow threw for 2,688 yards and 13 touchdowns in 10 games.
He could have done more if not for a season ending ACL and MCL tear in his left knee in Week 11 against the Washington Football Team.
Why is Joe Burrow one of the most intriguing fantasy players coming off of an injury? @Stephania_ESPN, @MatthewBerryTMR and @FieldYates help you out and discuss when to draft Michael Thomas: pic.twitter.com/AZ7zrfXt03
— Fantasy Focus Live (@fantasyfocus) August 18, 2021
Meanwhile, Higgins had 67 receptions, 908 yards, and six touchdowns in 16 games.
Suddenly, the future is bright for the Bengals because they have found a potent quarterback-receiver combo.
Add wide receiver Tyler Boyd in the mix and the Bengals have a young and exciting offensive core.
Green also came back from injury and played all 16 games.
But why stop there when your defense also needs help?
After all, Cincinnati is seventh-worst in total yards allowed with 389.2 per game.
However, all of these additions amounted to a slight improvement as the Bengals finished with a 4-11-1 slate.
More Roster Upgrades And Fair Expectations
Just when you think that the Boyd-Higgins receiving tandem is already a nightmare for opposing teams, the Bengals added Ja’Marr Chase to reunite with Burrow.
They now have three young receivers who can field balls down the field and leave defenders behind.
But the Bengals didn’t stop there because they drafted Jackson Carman from Clemson and East Carolina’s D’Ante Smith.
Granted that these players made the final roster, Cincinnati has somewhat addressed their offensive line woes while unleashing their three-headed monster in receiving.
Unfortunately, they will have to battle it out in a highly-competitive AFC North if they are to reach the postseason.
The three other teams in their division made the playoffs.
The Cleveland Browns pulled off an upset against the Pittsburgh Steelers in their Wild Card Game while the Baltimore Ravens lost to the Buffalo Bills in the Divisional Round.
Here’s my standings prediction for the AFC North for the 2021 NFL Season‼️
Ravens: 14-3 #3 seed
Browns: 11-6 #6 seed
Bengals: 5-12 pic.twitter.com/nRAOsy97zC
— PGS NEST (@NestPgs) August 17, 2021
Aside from that, they will also face other contenders like the Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, and Kansas City Chiefs during the regular season.
All of these matchups will be dogfights and the Bengals must claw on every snap if they want to win.
Given the strength of their schedule this season, Taylor gets another free pass this year.
The reason being that it takes time to integrate players into a system, especially the offensive linemen who have to protect Burrow if they are to have any shot at being competitive.
But after this season, the Bengals management must start lighting a fire under Taylor’s chair.
They’ve provided him with the players and the ball is in his court to guide them to their first winning season since 2015.
If he doesn’t deliver results in 2022, chances are that he will be fired.NEXT: Joe Burrow Destined To Fail With Cincinnati Bengals