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The Bengals have their quarterback of the future and are looking to build solid foundation around Joe Burrow. They have tried to upgrade their offensive line and receiver corps to help him stay healthy. On defense, they used free agency and the draft to improve in many areas. They have to continue to get better because they play in a really tough division.
Burrow threw for 2688 yards and 13 touchdowns before injuring his knee after 10 games. There is no doubt he is a franchise-type player if they can keep him upright. Joe Mixon has proven to be a quality running back and he returns from a foot injury that limited him to only 6 games in 2020. The receiving group consists of Tyler Boyd (79 catches), Tee Higgins (67 catches, and Burrow’s favorite receiver Ja’Marr Chase from LSU who they drafted in the first round. This group should be dangerous. The offensive line made several moves designed to improve the pass protection to give Burrow more time to throw.
The defensive front was a major problem a year ago and the Bengals brought in Trey Hendrickson and Larry Ogunjobi who are both potential major upgrades. Strangely, the linebacker room was left alone and it wasn’t particularly effective in 2020. They have some young players that they hope will continue to develop. The secondary is strong at safety with Jesse Bates III and Vonn Bell leading the way.. They brought in Chidobe Awuzie and Mike Hilton to compete at cornerback and Trae Waynes never got on the field in 2020 and he returns from an injury.
Must Wins: Jacksonville, LA Chargers, at Detroit, at NY Jets
Toss-Up Games: Minnesota, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, at Chicago
Probable Losses: Green Bay, San Francisco, Baltimore, Kansas City, at Pittsburgh, at Las Vegas, at Denver, at Cleveland
Summary in Two Sentences: This is a team that looks like they are headed in the right direction and can use 2021 as a building block. They have their quarterback and It’s all about adding the right pieces around him.
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