WRITTEN BY: Jake Geiger, Staff Writer
The wait is finally over. The Cincinnati Bengals season will begin this Sunday at 4:05 p.m. against the Los Angeles Chargers. This will be the first season since 2010 that Andy Dalton will not be the starting quarterback.
The Bengals will roll with number one overall pick Joe Burrow as their starting quarterback, a move that will hopefully lead the Bengals to more success.
Burrow led the LSU Tigers to the national championship last season, won the Heisman Trophy and threw for 60 touchdowns. The Bengals now have a fresh start with Burrow taking the reins as their quarterback, and it gives them hope after the franchise has struggled the past few seasons.
AJ Green returns from injury and Tyler Boyd is looking to have another big fall after his 1,000-yard season in 2019. Joe Mixon is also looking for another productive season after his disappointing 2019 campaign. Mixon did not meet expectations but still ran for 1,000 yards.
Question marks still surround the Bengals offensive line after ranking in the bottom five of the league last year. However, the team’s odds will hopefully change as 2019 first-round pick Jonah Williams is back in the game after recovering from a torn labrum injury.
The Bengals defense also looks to improve after adding defensive tackle DJ Reader and drafting linebackers Logan Wilson and Akeem Davis-Gaither. The Bengals still have former pro bowlers Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap on the defensive line, while safety Jessie Bates will continue to be a solid player in his third season.
Head Coach Zac Taylor is entering his second season as the Bengals head coach. After a disappointing 2-14 season, Taylor will look to bounce back with Burrow at the helm and another year with his scheme.
My prediction is that the Bengals will be 5-11 with an upset win against their division rival, the Cleveland Browns.