2020 Cincinnati Bengals Predictions and Season Win Total Picks
I don’t think that Marvin Lewis gets enough credit.
The former Bengals coach certainly had his flaws. His lack of attention to detail and his 0-7 record in the playoffs were more than a bit problematic. But the reason I think that Lewis is severely underrated is because I still have a pretty clear recollection of just how pathetic the Bungles were prior to his arrival.
In the 52-year history of the Bengals, Cincinnati has just 12 seasons with 10 or more wins. Half of them occurred in the 16-year tenure of Lewis. Lewis also guided them to half of the franchise’s 14 playoff appearances and finished at .500 or better 10 times in 16 seasons. He finished 131-122-3 in his time in Cincinnati.
Let’s compare that to the 16 seasons prior to Lewis and the one after his departure. In those 17 seasons, the Bungles went 90-182! For comparison, over the last 17 years, the Cleveland Browns – the modern standard-bearer for NFL idiocy – have gone 89-181.
Head coach Zac Taylor had a forgettable rookie season in the Queen City, guiding the Bengals to the worst mark in the league at 2-14. That led to the silver lining of the No. 1 overall draft pick and Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow. But that is about the only positive takeaway from the past 18 months of Bengals football.
Honestly, I feel bad for Burrow. He seems like a great dude and I respect his commitment to his Ohio roots. He was also dazzling in his one real season as a college starter last year. But he’s on the Bengals. That pretty much guarantees that he isn’t going to succeed (at least until he leaves).
Burrow is being thrown behind a feeble offensive line, given minimal weapons, and being asked to assume the mantle of Face of the Franchise. Mix in the fact that his head coach and offensive coordinator seem like they are in way over their heads, and that miserly scumbag Mike Brown is still the Man Behind the Curtain for this wretched franchise, and I can only surmise that Burrow has been set up to fail.
The Bengals made some consequential moves to reinforce its defense, signing D.J. Reader and Trae Waynes. That won’t be enough to turn around a defense that has finished No. 29 and No. 32 in yards allowed over the last two seasons. Potential Hall of Famer Geno Atkins is entering his 11th season and if he goes down their front seven might be the worst in football.
Cincinnati is very clearly the fourth-best team in the four-team AFC North. And it isn’t really close. Since the division realignment in 2002, the last place team in the North has averaged just 3.9 wins per season. Even if you kick out the 0-16 and 1-15 Browns seasons recently, the average of the other 16 last-place North teams is just 4.3 wins per season. And only four times in 18 years has the cellar dweller of the North finished the year with six or more wins.
This one is pretty easy and straightforward to me. I’ve seen enough Bungles teams to know what one looks like.
Take Cincinnati Bengals ‘Under’ 5.0 Wins.
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