The Cincinnati Bengals shouldn’t have made it to the Super Bowl last season.
At least not with their atrocious offensive line.
Quarterback Joe Burrow, however, was able to overcome the Bengals’ offensive line woes and somehow lead Cincinnati to its first Super Bowl appearance since the 1988 season.
The Bengals’ Super Bowl appearance came despite the fact that Burrow was the most sacked quarterback in the NFL during the regular season. Burrow was sacked 51 times in 16 games. Next on the list was Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill who was sacked 47 times in 17 games.
Burrow was also sacked 19 times in four playoff games.
Cincinnati wisely addressed their offensive line issues in free agency by signing three high-profile free agents. The Bengals signed Alex Cappa (a player that Tom Brady wanted back with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Ted Karras, and La’el Collins. Cincy essentially overhauled their offensive line.
As a result, Sports Illustrated made a prediction this week that Burrow won’t be among the top 10 most sacked quarterbacks in the NFL in 2022.
If that ends up being the case, then it feels like the Bengals will be a lock to repeat as AFC North division champions. The offensive line play — and the lack of time Burrow had in the pocket — was the biggest reason Cincinnati didn’t win more than 10 games in the regular season last year.
The Bengals were smart in free agency. They didn’t waste any time addressing their biggest need. And now they’re primed for another Super Bowl run behind a quarterback that could end up being an all-time great.
Featured image via Albert Cesare / The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK