Espn peers into the future and finds (of course) that the Bengals will suck.
paywalled of course, but here’s the Cincy entry. Fwiw the 3 teams below us are Philly, Detroit and Houston.
29. Cincinnati Bengals
Overall score: 68.1
CATEGORY SCORE NFL RANK
Overall roster (minus QB) 64.8 29
Quarterback 77.3 13
Coaching 64.8 30
Draft 70.5 28
Front office 64.8 30
Why they're here: Reasons for optimism in Cincinnati center around second-year quarterback Joe Burrow and a trio of receivers that reasonably could emerge as one of the best in the NFL. But the offensive line has been troublesome for several years, and this team has been devoid of defensive playmakers for too long. There are several roster holes that need to be addressed in a hurry to maximize the window of Burrow's contract. -- Yates
Biggest worry: The Bengals have to protect Burrow. No excuses. No explanations. That means by playcalling, play design, personnel upgrades, helping coach Burrow into getting rid of the ball quicker ... all of it. If Cincinnati can't accomplish that, this franchise will remain where it has been, at the bottom looking up. -- Riddick
What could change for the better: The secondary will eventually be good, as Cincinnati has spent big on corners and safeties in free agency. Vonn Bell, Chidobe Awuzie and Mike Hilton can all play, and the team hasn't given up on Trae Waynes, who should return stronger after missing last year due to injury. Pair these pieces with rising star Jessie Bates III at safety and Cincinnati should be a problem for offenses on the back end. -- Fowler
Stat to know: Burrow struggled with the deep ball in his rookie season. His 36.1 QBR on passes at least 20 yards downfield ranked third worst, and the Bengals recorded the lowest cumulative expected points added on deep passes (minus-7.9) among all teams. -- Walder