In 2021, the Cincinnati Bengals surprised a lot of observers by finishing 10-7 and winning the AFC North.
Their season became even more remarkable when they defeated the Las Vegas Raiders and Tennessee Titans to advance to the conference championship game, where they overcame an early 21-3 deficit to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs.
In the Super Bowl against the Los Angeles Rams, Cincinnati seemed to be on the verge of going all the way, but in the end, the Rams just had too much firepower on both sides of the football.
But the Bengals’ heartbreaking Super Bowl loss does not change the fact that they have the potential of becoming the National Football League’s next dynasty.
Joe Burrow Is The Real Deal
The first thing any NFL team needs to achieve any kind of success is a franchise quarterback, and the Bengals certainly have one in Joe Burrow.
As the first overall pick in the 2020 draft, he had a somewhat disappointing rookie season, as he only managed 13 touchdown passes and 2,688 yards in 10 games.
But in 2021 he blossomed with 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns while leading the league in completion percentage at 70.4 percent.
Just a friendly reminder that Joe Burrow:
– Won the AFC North
– Broke the Bengals playoff drought
– Beat the number one seed in the AFC on the road
– Swept Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs
– Made the Super Bowl
All in his first full season, with a below average o-line. pic.twitter.com/TaK1geSI1K
— Patrick Carey (@PatCareySports) March 28, 2022
Although he’s already 25 years of age, he can still get better, especially as the team around him gets better.
Burrow Has Two High-Level Weapons Who Are Very Young
Rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase made it clear that he was worthy of being the fifth pick in last year’s draft by putting up 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns this past season.
That production earned him the Offensive Rookie of the Year award and a trip to the Pro Bowl.
At 22 years of age, one has to wonder how much better he will get in the next few years.
Ja’Marr Chase will be the best receiver in the NFL next seasonpic.twitter.com/3dTsvZk9X8
— All Things Bengals (@AllThingsJungle) March 30, 2022
Cincinnati can also boast running back Joe Mixon, who at age 25 had his best season yet with 1,205 yards, 13 touchdowns, and his first Pro Bowl berth.
After this coming season, Higgins can receive a contract extension, and it would be wise for Cincinnati to open up its bank account and keep him with the team for years to come.
The One General Weakness The Bengals Must Address
Cincinnati was not good in 2021 at defending against the pass.
The team ranked just 26th in passing yards allowed, 18th in overall yards allowed, and 17th in points allowed, which are certainly not championship-worthy defensive numbers.
The Bengals could use a high-level cornerback in order to contain opposing star wide receivers, such as Cooper Kupp, a man who burned them in the Super Bowl and earned game MVP honors.
Other than that, the team’s offensive line is looking better heading into next season.
It added three new starters in that department to help protect Burrow and give him more time to do his thing.