2020 Cincinnati Bengals Review
The Bengals finished the 2020 season with a 4-11-1 record, but some signs of improvement were shown a season ago. The season got off to a decent start, but an injury to quarterback Joe Burrow de-railed the offense.
Not only did the offense struggle to end the season, but the defense started to struggle as well. Cincinnati has several areas that need to improve if they are going to take a big leap heading into the 2021 season.
2021 Bengals Offseason Additions
Cincinnati was looking for help in the secondary, and they were able to make a couple of signings that should help. Cornerback Eli Apple and safety Ricardo Allen were signed to one-year deals, and those players should be in the starting lineup immediately.
LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase was the Bengals 1st round draft choice, and he figures to play a key role on the offensive side of the ball.
2021 Bengals Offseason Departures
Defensive tackle Geno Atkins will not be with the Bengals in 2021, and this could be a significant loss for the defense that already struggled. Atkins was simply too expensive to keep around, and Cincinnati will look to some younger players.
Wide receiver A.J. Green has also moved on from the team, and that could potentially be a big loss for the offense. Green was one of the faces of the franchise but will not be around for the rebuilding process.
Three Key Factors To A Winning Season
Healthy Joe Burrow
The biggest key to a winning season for the Bengals will be keeping Joe Burrow healthy and on the field. Burrow was having a solid rookie season before an injury forced him to miss the remainder of the season.
Winning Home Games
If the Bengals are going to compete in the AFC North, they must find a way to win some games. Life on the road in the division will prove to be difficult, but this team should have a solid home-field advantage this season.
The Bengals struggled to defend the pass a season ago, which is a significant area of concern for Cincinnati this season. In addition, there are some big-name quarterbacks on the schedule for Cincinnati, and they must find a way to get some stops in the secondary.
Rating Their Schedule
The Bengals will face teams from the NFC North and AFC West Divisions this season, and that will present some challenges. Facing the three great teams in the AFC North is also a challenge, and this schedule won’t be easy.
The first real tough test in 2021 comes in Week 3 when the Bengals travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers. After that, Cincinnati will host Green Bay in Week 5, and this will be a big-time matchup for the Bengals.
The final three games of the season will prove to be a gauntlet for the Bengals as they face the Ravens, Chiefs, and Browns in Weeks 16-18.
Expectations in 2021
It should be another season of improvement for Cincinnati in 2021, but they are playing in a very tough AFC North Division. Six wins seem like a realistic goal for the Bengals, but it is hard to see them winning more games than that.
A healthy Joe Burrow should turn the Bengals into a solid offensive team, but there are still some big questions on defense. Picking up wins in divisional play is going to be an issue for Cincinnati, but there are some winnable games on this schedule.