The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / The Experts say the Bengals will struggle to return to the Super Bowl, are they right?

The Experts say the Bengals will struggle to return to the Super Bowl, are they right?

The Bengals are here to stay!
KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 30: Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow 9 points to his helmet due to crowd noise in the fourth quarter of the AFC Championship game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs on Jan 30, 2022 at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire NFL, American Football Herren, USA JAN 30 AFC Conference Championship - Bengals at Chiefs Icon2201300973

After a Cinderella run to the Super Bowl that none of the experts saw coming, we now have to see these same experts say that the Bengals are not going back anytime soon. The narrative here is that the Bengals and Joe Burrow lost the Super Bowl, and quarterbacks that fail in their first attempt don’t go back. As a Bengals fan, what these so-called experts say holds very little weight. Remember when they said the Bengals had no chance in Tennessee? Or when they said the Bengals had no chance in Kansas City? The only thing these experts have proven is that they are wrong an awful lot to be considered experts. If you look closely at the Bengals situation, you will see that this team is unlike the others in history that have failed to return to the Super Bowl. Today we will look at why those experts are wrong, and this Bengals team is much different.

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Joe Burrow

Joe Burrow is that guy! He doesn’t look as pretty as Justin Herbert, but he went to a worse situation than Herbert and has been to the Super Bowl; Herbert hasn’t played in a playoff game yet. The Bengals behind Burrow made the Super Bowl in a rebuilding year with one of the NFL’s youngest rosters. They have the most projected cap space of any playoff team, which is a top-five number overall. They entered the postseason undefeated against AFC playoff teams, had won on primetime over the Jaguars, swept the Ravens and Steelers and ended up sweeping the Raiders and Chiefs, too. That’s pretty impressive and shows you that the underdog narrative was also wrong at the end of the day.

The big thing here may be that Burrow has never had a typical offseason yet. COVID marred his rookie season, and he was rehabbing his knee last year. Burrow never really looked that comfortable until the Bengals were over halfway through the season. With an entire offseason and a healthy knee, look for Burrow to come out guns blazing from the start of the regular season.

Defense

The Bengals defense was lights out in the playoffs; they are led by two of the best young players in Linebacker Logan Wilson and safety Jessie Bates. Throw in a stellar defensive line, and this unit should only get better. They shut down the Titans Derrick Henry and held the Chiefs to just three points in the second half of the AFC Championship game, and the Rams struggled against the Bengals defense in the Super Bowl. They need to add some depth at Linebacker and pick up a cornerback, but this team is set to cause a lot of damage on the defensive side of the ball in 2022.

The Bengals are not cheap.

Historically the Bengals have been cheap, but the past two off-seasons have proven that things have changed in Cincinnati.

But over the last two offseasons, they’ve thrown out $271 million on free agents, the fourth-highest number in the league.

Some names and numbers:

  • Trae Waynes — 3 years, $42 million
  • Trey Hendrickson — 4 years, $60M
  • D.J. Reader — 4 years, $53M
  • Mike Hilton — 4 years, $24M
  • Chidobe Awuzie — 3 years, $22M
  • Vonn Bell — 3 years, $18M

Waynes was a miss because of injury issues but the other players listed were a huge reason the Bengals made it to the Super Bowl. I didn’t even include guys like larry Ogunjobi and Eli Apple on this list. The Bengals’ cheap is a false narrative anymore, and people need to let that assumption go.

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The Scariest part of it all

We have not seen the best of Joe Burrow yet! The offensive line will be taken care of in free agency and the draft, and don’t be surprised if a trade happens in the next week that blows your mind. In most instances, the narrative the National media gives you has no basis; it’s more of people who don’t research things and are not close to the situation wishing and hoping the Bengals go away. Too bad that is not happening anytime soon; the Bengals are here to stay!

 

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