BengaLs Season
preview 2019


Sporting a 5-3 record heading into the bye week, the Cincinnati Bengals were in the hunt for a playoff spot. Just one win from their final eight games would see the Bengals fall out of contention long before the year was over however.

That string of losses coincided with season ending injuries to veteran wide receiver A.J. Green and quarterback Andy Dalton. Their replacements were unable to come close to matching the production of the starters. Tight end Tyler Eifert would only manage four games in 2018 before ending up on injured reserve once again.

Defensively, no team gave up more yards per game than the Bengals last season and they were equally inept against both the run and the pass. Allowing 500 yards a game in three consecutive matchups set a new NFL record and long-time head coach Marvin Lewis was fired within hours of the regular season ending.

Off Season

The most notable change of the offseason was a complete overhaul of a coaching staff led by new head coach Zac Taylor. While relatively little money was spent on outside free agents, the Bengals made sure to retain many of their own.

Former Buffalo Bills guard John Miller was the most expensive signing of free agency. While former New York Giants cornerback B.W. Webb was perhaps their most noteworthy signing on defense. For a team notoriously tight with their money, the decisions to re-sign tight end C.J. Uzomah and extend the contract of wide receiver Tyler Boyd represent their largest financial commitments of the offseason.

The release of linebacker Vontaze Burfict may have cost the team one of their more recognizable players, but the move was long overdue. However, the retirement of veteran guard Clint Boling in July was something of a surprise.

Any hopes that first-round draft pick Jonah Williams would be of any help during his rookie season were quickly dashed when he suffered a season ending injury during minicamp.

Cinciinnati Bengals Season


When healthy, Cincinnati has more than enough offensive playmakers to compete with the rest of the teams in the division. The depth behind their stars names though is far below that of their rivals. Unfortunately, an ankle injury suffered on the opening day of training camp that required surgery will keep Green on the sidelines when the regular season begins.

Joe Mixon is one of the league’s emerging talents at running back and Giovani Bernard offers value as his backup. But while there is some quality along the offensive line in the shape of centre Billy Price and left tackle Cordy Glenn, question marks remain at the other positions.

How well the veteran players adjust to the new offense will be significant, as will the play of Dalton. The veteran quarterback has become the definition of mediocrity. He will need his supporting cast at full strength if he is to come close to maximising his potential this year.


Despite their lack of success of 2018. The Bengals have some notable names on defense capable of playing at a high level. Geno Atkins is one of the more highly rated defensive tackles in the NFL and is ably supported by Carlos Dunlap, Sam Hubbard and Carl Lawson.

Cornerback William Jackson III and safety Jessie Bates III are two young superstars of the future in the secondary. Along with Dre Kirkpatrick and Shawn Williams, they are arguably one of the better units in the league. Options like Webb and Darqueze Dennard provide enviable depth at cornerback.

The problems for the Bengals on defense come at linebacker. A unit that saw no new significant additions this offseason beyond Pratt. The third-round draft pick will have every chance to claim a starting spot as a rookie. However transitioning to the NFL is not expected to be easy for a player who only converted to linebacker from safety a few years ago.

the verdict

Predicted to finish last in the division by the bookmakers, it is hard to make much of a case for the Bengals in 2019. However, if the team can stay healthy, they have enough talent to be able to spoil the ambition of others.

But until Cincinnati can consistently win games against their AFC North rivals, they are always going to struggle to be relevant. The Bengals were 1-5 in the division last year and look unlikely to see much improvement on that record this season given the improvements their rivals have made.

Starting the year with three of their opening four games on the road is a rough introduction to the NFL for their rookie coach. With limited changes to the roster, Cincinnati is relying on Taylor to revitalize the franchise, but that might be asking too much of the 36-year-old in his first ever season as a head coach at any level.

Record Prediction: 7-9


Simon Chester


Simon is an Advanced Player Participation Analyst at Pro Football Focus and writer for Oddschecker US. Formerly deputy editor at SB Nation – Behind the Steel Curtain and staff writer for USA TODAY – SteelersWire. Follow him on Twitter @simonachester