28. Cincinnati Bengals (-5)
Joe Burrow is going to be ok…unless he isn’t.
What I mean is that the talent is there for Burrow, but the protection and the play-calling isn’t. I know the excuse is that the Bengals as using the high passing volume as an extension of the running game, but it also exposes your young QB to more hits which isn’t good.
Making it worse is that there are probably three guys on the Bengals offensive line that wouldn’t start anywhere else in the NFL.
Then making that worse, I think A.J. Green is going to struggle to be nearly as effective as he has been in the past. Instead, this team is going to have to slowly move him to the WR2 role in the future or just treat him and Tyler Boyd as co-WR1/2s that don’t merit any special attention.
The main thing is to support Burrow this season, and I hope the Bengals keep that in mind.
27. Jacksonville Jaguars (+3)
The Jaguars aren’t as good as their numbers suggest, but we were all wrong to think that they were intentionally trying to lose games to put themselves in a better position to get a franchise QB. Time will tell whether they should have tried that, but they aren’t doing it now.
I’m not sure whether they can sustain this now that they don’t have the momentum of winning games they shouldn’t. Also, now that teams aren’t sleeping on them and film is out there, maybe they hit some more bumps in the road, but this is me giving them credit where credit is due.