Bengals return: Five reasons Cincinnati is hunting for its first playoff berth since 2015

NS Cincinnati Bengals‘the resurgence can be traced back to December 30, 2018. The Bengals have just ended a disappointing 6-10 season with a 16-13 loss to the former. Pittsburgh Steelers. Marvin Lewis, who previously led the Bengals to four championships and seven into the playoffs, raised questions after the game about his future. Given the state of the Bengals at the time, coupled with the fact that regional rivals Cleveland and Baltimore were starting a new era with promising rookie quarterbacks, Cincinnati fans braced themselves. to return to the franchise failures of the 1990s and early 2000s.

Things get worse before they get better; Cincinnati won just two games in 2019 and 4-11-1 in 2020. But after a season-ending loss in 2018, the Bengals made some key decisions that ultimately led to the current team’s success. Led by coach Zac Taylor, the Bengals are one of the most exciting stories of the 2021 season. At 7-4, Cincinnati is just one game back to the game. Ravens for first place in the AFC Northern region standings. Ironically, the Bengals’ most convincing win of the season to date came against the Steelers, as Cincinnati stomped on their former tormentor to the tune of a 41-10 tie in front of Paul Stadium. Brown was packed this past Sunday.

As they continue to move closer to their first winning season and possibly a playoff spot since 2015, here are five things the Bengals have done over the past few years that have helped lay the groundwork for their newfound success.

Stick with Taylor

Owner Bengals Mike Brown offer his public support of Taylor shortly after the 2020 season ended. Taylor, who was hired at the age of 36 a year after employment Los Angeles Ramsquarterback coach, winning only 6-25-1 in his first two seasons in Cincinnati. But despite Taylor’s dismal record, along with criticism from the outside, Brown remained steadfast with his coach.

“Our fans wanted a fresh direction two years ago, and that’s what we wanted to do in hiring a bright, dynamic head coach at Zac Taylor,” Brown said in a statement. declare.. “We remain optimistic about the foundation Zac is building, and we look forward to next year providing our fans with the winning results we all want. In Zac’s two years, we’ve done a lot of work. adding more starters and contributors through the draft, we have invested a lot in the company for free and we have acquired a talented young midfielder with a bright future.

“This season we have faced challenges with injuries in key positions and missed opportunities. I am proud of our team for fighting hard through adversity. Adversity. That vision and hard work will help us next season We will go into the season to find our strength We are not discouraged, instead feel motivated and confident that next year will reap the benefits of the work done. Next year, we’ll earn our stripes.”

Brown’s patience paid off, as Taylor gave the Bengal team their best start in six years. He also has the right to buy the Bengals dressing room.

“Our preparation all week and the last two weeks, it’s been amazing”, midfielder Joe Burrow said after Sunday’s game, via Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I know exactly what I’m seeing. Zac called a great game, put me in a good position to finish.”

“What we have is special,” defensive end Trey Hendrickson to add. “That’s what we’ve been planning to do since I walked in the door.”

Difficult start

Following Taylor’s arrival, the Bengals began parting ways with the remaining players on the roster, who had helped Cincinnati to five consecutive playoffs from 2011-15. NS the team has moved forward from a long-time starting winger Andy Dalton after the 2019 season. They transaction Pro Bowl’s former defensive end Carlos Dunlap prior to last year’s trading deadline. As tough as those moves were, the Bengals made it even harder as they parted ways with two of the best players in franchise history: defence. Geno Atkins and recipients Blue AJ. Atkins was released this past March and Green is signed to Quantity as an unrestricted free agent.

While the decisions weren’t quite as popular at the time, the ability of the Bengals to part ways with players who have helped them win multiple games is reaping great benefits.

Main Acquisition

As promised, Brown’s team has spent a considerable amount of money over the past two vacations. While not every signing has been a home game, most of the team’s notable freestyle signings have paid off. Specifically, the Bengali have focused on defense as it relates to season spending. They have signed a number of veteran defenders in recent years including defensive backs Mike Hilton, Eli Apple, Chidobe Awuzie, Vonn Bell, and paved road Trey Hendrickson, Larry Ogunjobi, and DJ Reader.

The Bengals’ defense also continues to receive excellent play from homegrown talents, including Sam Hubbard, Logan Wilson and Jessie Bates III. Add them all and you have a defense that is currently sixth in NFL in scoring, fourth in hasty defense and 10th in defense.

“We’re proud of everyone on our defense,” said Hilton, whose pick of number six on Sunday essentially finished the contest. “We know our offense is explosive, so we try to give them as much property as we can. Defensively, we’re handling the job.”

Cincinnati’s recent season success also includes NFL Drafts. Instead of trading it for players and draft capital, Bengals decided to keep the 1st place overall in the 2020 Draft, a pick they used to pick Burrow. While it’s still early days, Burrow appears to be on his way to a long and fruitful NFL career. Across 21 games, the 2019 Heisman Trophy winner completed more than 67% of his throws with more than twice as many touches (35) then interceptions (17). Most importantly, Burrow is a 9-11-1 starter after winning just two outings of his rookie season.

The final two drafts also include Wilson, the recipient Tee Higginsand expand colleagues Ja’Marr Chase, who led the title of Offensive Rookie of the Year. Linebacker Joseph Ossai, the Bengals’ third choice in the 2021 draft, showed considerable promise this summer before suffering a season-ending injury in the pre-season.

Set up a lair for success

Burrow was influenced too much as a rookie. The need for better QB rights protection was further enhanced when he suffered a season-ending knee injury just 10 games during his rookie season. Bengali respond by signing Riley Reiff, a veteran offensive player who arrived in Cincinnati with 138 regular-season games.

The Bengali faced a dilemma with the number 5 overall pick in last year’s draft. They can use pick to reunite Burrow with Chase, his teammate at LSU, or use pick to get Penei Sewell, who queued up the best strike consensus in the draft. Cincinnati ultimately picked Chase while using their second pick over USC’s previous offensive tactic Jackson Carman. Chase and Burrow continued where they had stopped in Baton Rouge, as Chase led all rookies with 50 receptions in 908 yards and eight touchdowns. Carman also came in and contributed as a rookie, as he started five of the first eight games of the season before a back injury ruled him out for three weeks. In Carman’s absence, the Bengals received solid play from Hakeem Adeniji, sixth round selection in the 2020 draft.

While he’s still been fired too many times (Burrow has been knocked down 30 times so far), Burrow’s improved defense has given him the lead in the league which is currently the sixth-ranked scoring error of NFL. After a tough defense in the first half of the season, Chase has recently been valuable opening the rest of the attack for teammates Higgins, Tyler Boyd and run again Joe Mixon. With the Steelers top cornerback bypassing Chase on Sunday, Higgins “unlocked” his defender while pulling down a 32-yard touchdown in Sunday’s destructive win. Mixon rumbles with a career high of 165 meters and two touchdowns.

Restoring Bengali Pride

The team went through a significant makeover over the course of this past season, including revamped uniforms and the creation of the franchise’s Ring of Honor. Brown has announced that team founder Paul Brown and Hall of Fame left-handling Anthony Munoz will be part of the first class of Ring of Honor, while elected season ticket holders include the former quarterback. and 1981 league MVP Ken Anderson and former All-Pro winger Ken Riley.

The team’s first Ring of Honor class was held at halftime of Cincinnati’s Week 4 home game against Jaguar on Thursday night, a game the Bengals won after overcoming a 14-0 deficit. It’s a great moment for a franchise and fan base that celebrates the past as well as the present. The future certainly looks good too, thanks to the decisions the franchise has made over the past few years. Bengals return: Five reasons Cincinnati is hunting for its first playoff berth since 2015


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