NFL Power Rankings: Steelers rise and Texans fall flat in July
By Will Lomas
29. Cincinnati Bengals (finished 31)
What I said at the end of last season:
"I’m not taking Joe Burrow into account here and I am just looking at the talent that the Bengals are likely to have in 2020, but man I am a little bit excited for how they could turn out. Don’t get me wrong, it is going to get ugly and there is going to be some time needed to rebuild that offensive line. Speaking of which, one of the big reasons I have the Bengals this low is because I have concerns about whether Cincy will be able to get any free agents to come knowing all of the troubles they have had the last few years. If that can get fixed and the Bengals can figure out a way to get a little bit better in the trenches on both sides of the ball, the could be a fun team next year."
If the Bengals had an offensive line that was anywhere close to top-12 in the NFL, they would be almost guaranteed a winning record this season.
At receiver, they go four deep as far as legitimate NFL talent with A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, and John Ross (who is talented and athletic, just not productive). Throw in Joe Mixon and obviously current/future star QB Joe Burrow, and that offense is going to put up points…as long as they can survive behind that OL.
Defensively, the Bengals have a great front four and they have Carl Lawson as one of the best DPRs in the NFL. While LB and DB are a wildcard, the defense isn’t notably bad in one area which helps their long term chances, but age is a concern.