The Cincinnati Bengals finished the 2018 season with an underwhelming 6-10 record, placing them dead last in the AFC North. They made a change at head coach ahead of 2019 but failed to upgrade their talent like their division rivals — the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens. But nobody expected Cincinnati’s final product to be this mediocre.
The Bengals have been outright awful in 2019, and have easily been the worst team in the NFL this year. But on the bright side, they will likely get a chance to change the team’s culture with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Not having A.J. Green all year lowered Cincinnati’s offensive ceiling, but the more glaring deficiency was at the quarterback position. Andy Dalton, a three-time Pro Bowl player, is winless in four playoff appearances and his backup Ryan Finley doesn’t appear to be the right man to lead the team to glory. Cincinnati needs start from the ground up under center and make some other moves as well.
Cincinnati ranks 22nd in total passing yards this year according and has thrown a league-worst 13 touchdown passes so far. Given that the Bengals probably won’t have Green at their disposal in 2020, it’s clear that they’ll need a composed quarterback that can grow with up-and-coming receivers like Tyler Boyd and Auden Tate. LSU’s Heisman hopeful Joe Burrow comes to mind.
On the other hand, the Bengals have also recorded the second-fewest sacks (23) in the NFL this year and have a chance to grab an elite pass rushing talent in Ohio State’s Chase Young. We’ve seen what Joey Bosa has done for the 49ers, so this might be the safer route. Other quarterbacks in the draft could be upgrade Cincinnati’s current situation, but not many can compare to Young’s talent.
The 2019 NFL season is coming to a close and while the playoffs are just arriving, it’s time to start looking ahead to 2020. We won’t know the full regular season schedule until April, but even with the 2019 season not finished, we know each team’s list of opponents. The NFL has a formula they use to determine opponents, with divisions and conferences rotating each year.
The Bengals will face their divisional opponents a total of six times. The AFC North faces the NFC East, which adds four more opponents. The AFC North faces the AFC South, which adds four more opponents. The final two opponents are the teams that finish in the same standing position in the AFC West and AFC East.