Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
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Dismiss the Cincinnati Bengals at your own risk in 2022

After a surprising Super Bowl run last season, many are counting the Cincinnati Bengals as a fluke. Don’t be so sure about that.

Not every Cinderella sees its coach turn back into a pumpkin.

Last year, the slipper fit for the Cincinnati Bengals until the final minute of Super Bowl LVI. Their improbable run finally ended with a 23-20 loss to the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. Still, it was a miracle season for the Bengals. They were almost universally selected as the last-place team in the AFC North before Week 1, only to win the crown.


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Now, Cincinnati is out to prove it can continue building its contender status into the future.

On Tuesday, the Bengals were at OTAs getting ready to defend their conference title. In talking to local media, star quarterback Joe Burrow talked about his perspective on the season ahead, per ESPN:

“Going into last year, we knew we were good, but I think going into the playoffs, we knew we could win but we weren’t really sure what it took. We just went out there and played really hard and together as a team, and it worked out.

“Now, we know what it takes and we have that experience in our back pockets going forward.”


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If Burrow and the Bengals are going to make another deep playoff run, it’ll be because of the work we’ve seen from the front office this offseason. Cincinnati spent real money to upgrade the offensive line with guard Alex Cappa, center/guard Ted Karras and right tackle La’el Collins. Furthermore, the Bengals kept the defense largely intact. They tagged safety Jessie Bates while adding safety/corner Dax Hill in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Meanwhile, the offense remains one of the league’s best. With Burrow now standing behind one o the league’s more improved lines, he’ll have more time to be accurate when delivering strikes to receivers Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd.

The biggest issue for Cincinnati might be a tougher division with the Baltimore Ravens almost guaranteed to be healthier, while the Cleveland Browns are improved under center with the controversial addition of quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Still, the Bengals are themselves improved, and there’s no reason to think a young team with loads of talent can’t continue to ascend, proving their Cinderella tale was actually a true story.

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