What is next for the Cincinnati Bengals?

After a season-ending injury for Burrow, a current record of 2-9-1, and a lack of optimism among fans, many are wondering what the rest of the Cincinnati Bengals’ 2020 season will look like as we head into Week 14.


Source: SportingNews.com

Quarterback Joe Burrow is carted off of the field after his season-ending injury in Week 11.

It is tough being a Bengals fan this season. With a current record of 2-9-1, a season-ending injury for rookie quarterback Joe Burrow, and loads of unhappy fans, this season is nothing short of a disaster for the Cincinnati Bengals.

At the start of the 2020 NFL season, many were optimistic in terms of their hopes for the Bengals, citing the team’s rookie quarterback Joe Burrow, the number one pick in the 2020 NFL draft. However, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the team, along with the other 31 NFL teams across the country, took a huge financial blow due to the limited number of fans allowed to attend each game. While this may not have been much of a surprise, one can only wonder what kind of ticket sales Cincinnati would have seen with its new quarterback.

Fast forward to Week 11, Joe Burrow is carted off the field after taking a hard hit during a play. After tweeting, “Thanks for all the love. Can’t get rid of me that easy. See ya next year,” many fans read between the lines and were faced with a grim reality: Burrow’s season is over, and it is only going to get worse for the Cincinnati Bengals and their fans.

Although they have played overall very poorly throughout the season, the Bengals have played two pretty decent game this year. In Week 4, the Bengals played the Jacksonville Jaguars, which ended with the Bengals’ first victory of the season. Running back Joe Mixon played a major part in this win, scoring three touchdowns and running for over 150 yards.

Tennessee Titans v Cincinnati Bengals
Two Bengals players, Josh Tupou and Germaine Pratt, tackle a Titans player. SOURCE: Bobby Ellis / Getty Images

In Week 8, the Bengals, shocking NFL fans across the country, defeated the Tennessee Titans by a final score of 31-20. I do not believe that anyone thought that the Bengals would win this game, but I have to give them credit: they played a great game, and it was a sign of hope for Bengals’ fans who may have lost faith in the team.

To get the opinion of another Bengals fan, I asked a fellow Quill member, Seth Trischler, what his thoughts are on the Bengals season so far, as well as what he thinks is next for Cincinnati

Answering my first question about what he thinks the season has been like so far, Seth told me, “I think the Bengals’ season has been absolutely terrible. Even though the Jets are on pace to be 0-16, we might as well be, too. Everyone knew Burrow was going to get hurt with that o-line, and Zach Taylor did nothing. At first, I didn’t want him to be fired because I thought it would hurt Burrow’s career, bouncing around from coach to coach, but after losing to the Dolphins like that, Zach Taylor is not the answer, and hopefully the ownership sees that.”

Seth is not alone in his anger. Cincinnati fans have been critical of the Bengals’ coaching staff, most notably head coach Zac Taylor. It does look like Zac Taylor will be staying with the team into next season, which seems to be the case because of quarterback Joe Burrow, according to ProFootballRumors.com.

Seth also has some pretty low, yet realistic expectations for the rest of the season. “I think everyone expects them to lose out, but I believe they will win one more game. Their best shot for this season would be against the Cowboys this weekend. I just hope they do not get destroyed because I think my dad might break the TV,” Seth told me.

As I stated above, the Bengals’ current record is 2-9-1. For predictions on the rest of the season, I am going to have to agree with Seth. The Bengals have four games left in the regular season; sadly, one is against the Steelers, and one is against the Ravens.

Those two are pretty much automatic losses. The Steelers are one of the best teams in the NFL this season, and the Ravens are looking like they will make a comeback in the coming weeks, with their COVID situation being resolved and quarterback Lamar Jackson returning, so unless they can somehow flip-the-switch like they did in the Titans game, there is not much hope for those matchups.

That leaves the Cowboys and the Texans.

Now, they will most likely pull off their next game against the Dallas Cowboys. Without Dak Prescott after his injury in Week 5, the Cowboys have clearly been struggling this season. Additionally, running back Ezekiel Elliott has an injured calf, which could impact his performance on Sunday, but he says he will play through it for his teammates. Dallas, with a record of 3-9, is not much better than the Bengals, so if Cincinnati is able to make it work on Sunday, without Burrow, they could secure their third win of the season.

As for the Texans, if the Bengals get lucky enough, this could be another win for them in their 2020 season, but I have to admit, this looks pretty unlikely to happen. The Texans are currently 4-8, not much better than the Cowboys, and are not having a very solid season. However, the Texans have a weapon on their defense, defensive end J.J. Watt, who will prove to be a challenge against the Bengals struggling o-line. The Texans’ biggest struggle will be their offense, which, as AP News points out, has been an issue for them all season, especially their running game. My advice for Bengals’ fans for this game: do not get your hopes up because a Cincinnati victory is unlikely.

Bengals head coach Zac Taylor is looking at every aspect to get his team prepared for training camp
Bengals’ head coach Zac Taylor. SOURCE: Bengals.com

The Bengals’ playoff chances are out of the picture at this point. However, whatever the outcome of their final four games, they are going to secure a top five spot in the 2021 NFL Draft lineup, so some good will come out of the 2020 season. Right?

Honestly, who knows what the rest of the season will look like for the Cincinnati Bengals? As we saw in their game against the Titans, the Bengals are very capable of pulling off random surprise wins, so your guess is as good as mine when it comes the outcomes of their last four games. As I said above, they absolutely have the potential to pull off at least one more win in the season, against the Cowboys who are the underdogs going into Sunday, so let us hope that they do not let Cincinnati down and that they secure at least one more win this season.