Season In Review: Cincinnati Bengals
For the first time since 1988, the Cincinnati Bengals are SuperBowl bound.
Unlike the Bengals previous two trips to the big game, this year’s team looks poised to win it all.
Finishing the regular season at 10-7, the fourth-seeded Bengals won three straight one-possession games just to get to this point.
That run came following a 4-11-1 record last season and having no playoff wins since the 1990 season.
The main reason for this surprising run was the return of quarterback Joe Burrow.
During his rookie season, Burrow suffered a torn ACL but was able to bounce back this season and start 16 of 17 games this season with the only missed start coming after a playoff berth was secured.
Burrow threw for 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns this season with a good amount of them going to his former LSU teammate and first-round draft pick Ja’Marr Chase.
Chase had one of the best rookie seasons for a receiver in NFL history with 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns joining Tee Higgins as the two 1,000 yard receivers for the Bengals.
To complement the passing game, running back Joe Mixon had arguably his best season as a pro finishing third in rushing with a career-high 1,205 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Defensively, the Bengals had a solid year as well with their biggest strength being at the safety positions.
The duo of Von Bell and Jessie Bates III combined for 185 total tackles and 12 pass deflections.
Partner them with linebacker Logan Wilson who had a career season with 100 total tackles and four interceptions which led the team and you have a scary defense for this Rams team to go up against.
During the regular season, the Bengals remained consistent as they never won or lost more than three games in a row.
The team's best stretch came toward the end of the season when Burrow threw for over 900 yards against the Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs to help get the Bengals into the playoffs.
Not everything was sunshine and rainbows however as at one point, things got ugly for the Bengals with bad losses against a Mike White led New York Jets squad followed up by a 41-16 loss against the Cleveland Browns to send the team into their bye week.
Win or lose this game, however, there is no denying that the Bengals have turned a ton of heads this season.
With one game left to play, will fans see the confident Joe Burrow that smokes cigars and wears his sunglasses after wins or will we see the Bengals team that lost to the New York Jets?
Logan Bourandas is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.