How are Bengals chances at a winning record in 2021 compared to other teams?

Chris Roling
·2 min read

The Cincinnati Bengals are in a better position than most teams that struggled in 2020.

Cincinnati was one of nine teams to win five games or fewer in 2020, though the final record wasn’t too much of a surprise in hindsight given the droves of injury issues while trying to break in a rookie quarterback after an offseason without normal activities.

It’s worth taking a look at the list of teams that couldn’t win more than five games this season sheerly to think about how the Bengals might stack up against them.

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell recently commented on such an idea and noted two teams should break away from the pack:

It’s interesting to run down the list. The Jets and Jaguars could be starting over under center and have two of the league’s most dramatic rebuilds. The Texans are likely losing Deshaun Watson. The Eagles, Broncos, Lions and maybe even Pathers don’t have settled quarterback positions and while the Falcons do, they’re typically underachievers starting over with a new head coach.

Which isn’t to say the Bengals are much better or have a bulletproof route to securing more than five wins next year. But Joe Burrow’s steady improvement probably would’ve helped the team win between five and seven games had he not suffered a season-ending injury.

Add in a new offensive line coach, top-five pick, a free-agency period with plenty of spending and the return of Burrow and indeed, the Bengals should be one of the two statistically likely teams to climb out of the hole in 2021.

If they’re not, even bigger changes will be coming for Zac Taylor’s coaching staff.

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