The Bengals finished the 2019 season with the NFL’s worst record. They won just two games: home matchups against the New York Jets and the Cleveland Browns, a duo of perpetual embarrassments in their own right.
There’s obviously pressure on second-year head coach Zac Taylor — older brother of Eagles passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach Press Taylor — to turn things around in Cincy. Acquiring a potential upgrade at quarterback might just help out.
Indeed, Bengals fans have ample reason to be excited about Joe Burrow. The No. 1 overall pick from the 2020 NFL Draft is coming off a sensational senior season at LSU where he threw for 60 touchdowns (and ran for another five) to just six interceptions en route to winning the national championship.
Burrow looked so good last year that’s it’s not impossible to believe he could be a formidable NFL threat from the jump. Of course, the rookie passer could be hurt by the shortened offseason. The Eagles might benefit, then, from facing Cincy earlier in the year as opposed to later on.
The Bengals have enough talent elsewhere on their roster to make one believe they can improve in 2020. The Eagles can’t just expect this game to be a cakewalk. But it should still certainly be a winnable one for the Birds.
Read on for more Bengals insight from our SB Nation colleagues over at Cincy Jungle.
Notable free agency additions:
DT DJ Reader, DB Vonn Bell, CB LeShaun Sims, RB Jacques Patrick, CB Mackensie Alexander, LB Austin Calitro, LB Josh Bynes, CB Trae Waynes, OG Xavier Su’a-Filo
Over/under 10 wins?
Rookie I’m most excited about:
QB Joe Burrow. It’s hard not to be the most exciting player when you’re the No. 1 overall pick, let alone a quarterback after spending a decade on the Dalton Line. Burrow just had one of the greatest seasons a college athlete has ever had, so the excitement is very high in Cincinnati that he’ll be the one to lead this franchise to the Super Bowl. Of course, just winning one playoff game would be really swell.
Best position battle heading into training camp:
Right tackle. Bobby Hart has been a disaster of epic proportions, so there’s hope Fred Johnson can step up and win the job in Year 2. Former sixth-round pick Isaiah Prince is a darkhorse contender, but the odds favor Hart retaining his job, partly due to his grossly bloated contract.
Biggest storyline heading into training camp:
Quarterback. The Bengals have essentially handed the keys to Joe Burrow as he gets set for his rookie season in a year where he had no real offseason to prepare. And he may not even get a preseason game to get his feet wet. Has there ever been a year where there were no OTAs or preseason games? Burrow may be the future, but his rookie season could get rough early on with the offensive line being a major question mark itself.
Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp:
The defensive line. With the addition of D.J. Reader, this is easily one of the best defensive lines in football, not to mention one of the most expansive. Geno Atkins is still one of the game’s best. Carlos Dunlap is a force off the edge. Reader is a mammoth in the middle. Carl Lawson is one of the league’s better young pass rushers. And Sam Hubbard finished with a sack in five-straight games (8.5 overall in Year 2). This unit should be able to wreak havoc on any opposing offense.
Notable injuries heading into training camp:
None that should be a problem when training camp begins. A.J. Green missed all of last season with an ankle injury but should be 100% heading into camp. Former top-10 pick Jonah Williams missed all of his rookie season with a shoulder injury, but he did practice at the end of the season, so he should be good for camp. Former sixth-round pick and Oklahoma star Rodney Anderson is coming off a torn ACL that cost him his rookie season, but he’s in a battle just to make the final roster.
Will the Eagles beat the Bengals?
This poll is closed