CINCINNATI – Last year, the Bengals had one of the league’s best offenses. They finished tied for the fifth-most yards per play (5.9) and seventh-most points per game (27.1).
With the improvements made during the offseason, the unit is bound to improve. However, improvement is not always guaranteed.
One way to ensure improvement is to become more consistent and that’s something Joe Burrow stressed during his Tuesday press conference.
Per Burrow, part of doing so is by changing the Bengals’ mindset, to an extent.
“Yea, we just gotta be more consistent and not rely on those big plays as much,” Burrow told reporters when asked about how to get better in 2022. “Teams are going to be playing 2-high and making us check the ball down and all that.
“So, we gotta be able to sustain drives and run the ball and take what the defense gives us all the way up and down the field. And then, take those opportunities when they present themselves.”
Burrow’s right about relying on the big play in 2021. Per Pro Football Focus, Burrow attempted passes of 20+ yards -which are considered deep throws- at a 13.1% clip, which was the ninth-highest rate in the NFL.
But it wasn’t just the offense’s reliance on the big play. The Bengals can be better in short-yardage situations, too.
“We gotta be better in that department,” admitted Burrow. “I think we were one of the lower tiers in the league in short yardage. We have to be able to both run the ball better and throw the ball better in that situation.
“So that’s something we’re going to be working on going forward throughout camp and the next couple of days. And I know the coaching staff will have great game plans for us going into each game.”
Per Sports Info Solutions, Cincinnati’s run game converted 26.4% of its runs and 2nd/3rd and 3 or less into first downs, which was the 13th-highest rate in 2021. The passing game had a positive play rate of 41.7%, which tied the Lions for 17th.
Both of these changes would benefit the Bengals offense, making it even scarier than what we saw last year.
And with Burrow driving the change, it’s easy to see why this can happen.
You can check out Burrow’s full presser, below:
Joe Burrow News Conference https://t.co/NlWYCF2gXg— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) June 14, 2022
Featured image via Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK