Does anyone believe in the Cincinnati Bengals?

That’s a strange question to ask after watching Cincinnati reach the Super Bowl last season for the first time in over 30 years.

But based on what we’re hearing from the national media this offseason, it seems like the Bengals have plenty of doubters (NFL Network’s Cynthia Frelund doesn’t even think Cincinnati will reach the playoffs in 2022).

The latest non-believer in the Bengals is Pro Football Focus.

PFF threw some major shade at Cincinnati head coach Zac Taylor this week via their 2022 NFL head coach rankings.

They have Taylor ranked as the No. 22 head coach in the NFL, which places him in the “room for improvement” tier.

From PFF:

By the data, it is difficult to call Taylor’s regime in Cincinnati a success despite his postseason resume. The estimate suggests that Taylor is riding off the high of the tremendous amount of talent the Bengals have amassed in recent years.

Bengals head coach Zac Taylor
Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor paces the sideline in the second quarter of the NFL Week 16 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati on Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021. The Bengals led 31-14 at halftime.
Baltimore Ravens At Cincinnati Bengals Week 16

PFF has Taylor ranked below Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles (26-41 as a head coach with zero post season appearances), Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith (7-10 as a head coach), and Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski (19-14 as a head coach, 0-1 in the playoffs).

The reason for ranking Taylor low — because he has some great talent in Cincinnati — is almost as confusing as the ranking.

Remember when the Bengals had the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and the narrative was that Joe Burrow shouldn’t want to land in Cincy because the franchise isn’t committed to winning?

What’s the narrative now? The Bengals have talent but their coach isn’t any good?

As hard as I try, I can’t make it make sense.

Taylor, with the help of Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and others, has completely turned this franchise around. He’s the right coach at the right time. And he’s certainly better than the no. 22 ranked head coach in the NFL. Not many coaches can brag about taking a team from 4-11-1 to the Super Bowl in just one season.

In fact, not many coaches can brag about going to the Super Bowl at all.

I’m not even sure winning the Super Bowl would get the Bengals any respect at this point.

Featured image via USA TODAY Sports