For decades, the Cincinnati Bengals were the punching bag of the NFL. Cellar dweller. The AFC laughing stock. One of the more popular — The Bungles. A whole generation without experiencing a win in 31 years. The disappointments, losing seasons, and never-ending suffering felt indefinite. In other words, expect the worse. Don’t look now, but Joe Burrow and company are looking to make an NFL playoff run now.
Joe Burrow and Company to the Rescue
The glory years were five straight playoff appearances under head coach Marvin Lewis. Unfortunately, every single one of those appearances ended with a first-round loss. As a matter of fact, seven straight playoff losses going back to 1990 haunted the Bengals.
Enter quarterback Burrow. To understand the full impact of how one player can impact years of losing — a little background information is necessary.
Burrow as a college quarterback didn’t exactly woo everyone to recruit him. Actually, the only prestigious program that went after Burrow was Ohio State. Burrow wanted to follow into the family history by going to the University of Nebraska. However, the Cornhuskers did not come knocking. Head coach Scott Frost said, “You’re simply not good enough to play for us.”
Frost has gone 15-29 in his first four years. Teetering on the edge of holding his job. Nonetheless, Burrow went to Ohio State but sat on the bench for three years. Another coach Urban Meyer doubted Burrows’s ceiling too.
Perhaps a blessing, Coach Ed Orgeron invited Burrow to come down to Baton Rouge for a visit. Supposedly, the talk of football and the love of crawfish sealed the deal for Burrow to become an LSU Tiger. The rest is history.
LSU Tigers Found a Gem with Burrow
The incredible rise from a mid-round draft pick to being the top pick in the NFL Draft catapulted Burrow to the legendary status before even hitting the ground running in Cincinnati.
The Bengals beat the Las Vegas Raiders 26-19 ending a 31-year streak of disappointments in the postseason. This team is so young — the past years of frustration. And this team is more than just Burrow. The Bengals added former LSU teammate Jamar Chase adding much-needed firepower. This duo is special.
Chase caught 81 balls for 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns. The 18 yard average per catch topped most in the NFL. His big-play ability is lethal against any defense.
The fact of the matter is, the AFC is wide open for the 2022 NFL Playoffs. And young teams are often referred to as “too young and inexperienced.” On the other hand, a team with no past doesn’t dwell on the past because there is none.
Bengals and Burrow is an NFL Playoff Nightmare Matchup
The Bengals aren’t expected to go any further. The pressure is minimal if any. Still, the Bengals will need to perform much better in the divisional round to move on.
It’s hard to see the Bengals surprising anyone anymore. Moreover, the Bengals defense is lacking. Running back Joe Mixon has to be a consistent contributor on the offense. Scoring 25-30 points a game against any of the stingy defenses left will be difficult. still, don’t bet against Burrow and a deep NFL playoff run.
Regardless, these young studs remain a force now and into the future for years. Is it too early? Or can youth be the secret recipe to break the mold?
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