The Cincinnati Bengals went from picking No. 1 overall at the 2020 NFL Draft to playing for a Super Bowl less than two years later. Although the team fell shy of the ultimate goal in 2021, the 2022 season proved that Cincy isn’t going away anytime soon.
Bengals: Can Cincinnati Finally Get Over Super Bowl Hump?
The Bengals avoided the dreaded Super Bowl hangover by adding two more wins to their record than the year prior. Joe Burrow was at the peak of his powers with an MVP-worthy campaign, including 4,475 passing yards and 35 touchdowns.
Armed with some of the best weapons in the league, Burrow regularly found his favorite targets in Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd. To keep things balanced, Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine chipped in 305 carries, 1,208 rushing yards, and nine touchdowns on the ground.
The offensive line still looked like a work in progress, but most would agree that the group performed with more consistency. Anything is better than what Burrow dealt with his first two seasons, so the bar isn’t exactly high in this regard.
On the other side of the ball, the defense held up well against the run and created turnovers at a top-10 clip in the league. Led by Trey Hendrickson, the front line in Cincinnati is a force to be reckoned with.
Zac Taylor has his fair share of critics — Lord knows I am one. However, the first-time head coach continues to silence those critics by improving in the win column each season and crafting creative attacks for the Burrow-led offense. At this point, Taylor deserves his flowers for changing the culture.
4 Reasons The Bengals Can Win It All
So, as one of the top contenders in the AFC, here are four reasons why the Bengals can get over the hump in 2023 and win the franchise’s first Super Bowl in team history.