So we come to the end of the road for this season and it has been some ride. This has been everything Bengal fans have been craving and needing for a while. Making the playoffs, first away playoff road win, AFC Championship title and of course a trip to the Super Bowl. I wanted to take a minute to reflect on the end of a great season and what the future looks like for the Bengals.
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Words really can not describe when it comes to watching your favorite team compete in a Super Bowl. Seeing them run out of the tunnel made me so happy plus just knowing that almost every national sports analyst had them barely winning any games this year brought a smile to my face. The game itself was very exciting as well as frustrating at times. The Bengals would eventually lose a close one to the Rams 23-20. As tough as the loss was I just hope fans reflect on the amazing season and not go back and second guess every decision by coaches or dwell on the bad officiating at the end of the game. Instead, focus on where this young team is headed and can build on for the future.
The Bengals organization has a lot to celebrate and be proud of besides just going to the Super Bowl. Their players were recognized for their accomplishments on the field this season. Rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase, defensive end Trey Hendrickson, and running back Joe Mixon were all named to this year’s Pro-Bowl. Quarterback Joe Burrow was named AP Comeback Player of the year after tearing both his ACL and MCL to lead the league in completion percentage. Rookie kicker Evan McPherson was named to the PFWA All-Rookie special team. Ja’Marr Chase was also named PFWA Offensive Rookie of the Year by gaining 1,455 yards, 81 receptions, and 13 touchdowns.
Owner of the Bengals Mike Brown spoke this week about the future of the organization. He said, “I think we have the core of a top team, we’ll add to it and I think we can make it better.” Everyone can agree that there are still glaring holes that need to be filled on the offensive line as well as other concerns that the coaching staff will address in the next few months. Last year, the Bengals focused on improving the defensive side of the ball but this year they will shift gears to see how they can better protect their franchised quarterback. Will they go drop $70 million on someone like Orlando Brown if available, probably unlikely but look for them to upgrade so that the offensive line will be better than this season? The NFL scouting combine as well as the NFL free agency both take place in March so I see these changes taking place sooner than later.
Traveling from Nashville to Kansas City to eventually Los Angeles the Bengals fans really came out in droves to support this team. The sheer numbers of fans in each of these cities proved that the fan base was back and looking to support Burrow and company. Old and young alike had their favorite players’ jerseys on as they yelled out a solid “Who Dey”! Next season look for the tailgates to be bigger and the Jungle to be rocking with excited fans who like this season will make a difference in the game.
As I wrap up my final thought I just want to take this time to thank everyone who read, liked, or shared my Ty’s Take throughout the season. I have really enjoyed writing the preview from week to week. Hopefully, it gave Bengals fans some insight into each game, key matchups, and players to focus on. It really is an exciting time to be a Bengal fan with the future of this franchise finally moving in the right direction. Who Dey Nation is well and alive and thrilled about many more seasons like this year. Look for more articles on free agency and the draft in the near future.
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