AFC North round-up: Predicting Baltimore Ravens, other’s 2020 record
I might be the biggest non-Cincinnati Bengals fan on the planet. Honestly, these Bengals have nowhere to go but up after an abysmal 2019 season. That Cincinnati team was unwatchable between a putrid offense and a defense that couldn’t stop a nosebleed.
The tides are changing for the better now after the team landed a potential franchise quarterback in Joe Burrow with the top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Burrow is coming off the greatest single-season in college football history. Burrow set the single-season record for passing yards (5,671-yards) and touchdowns (60) en route to a Heisman Trophy and CFP National Championship win. He was downright dominant, and now the supposed “Tiger King” goes to an offensive-minded team with some seriously good weapons.
A.J. Green is back and seemingly at full health, but joining him in this wide receiving core are Tyler Boyd, John Ross, Auden Tate, and rookie Tee Higgins. It’s a group that’ll light opponents up. Oh yeah, and don’t forget about Joe Mixon out of the backfield. The only thing that will hold this offense back will be its offensive line, which short of second-year man Jonah Williams, who missed all of his rookie year due to injury, there’s nothing positive to write home about.
While the offense should have no trouble putting up points, the defense will have a lot of growing pains. The unit’s two stalwarts, Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap are both on the wrong side of 30-years old and have begun to slow down a bit. I do like third-year man Sam Hubbard quite a bit to breakout, but Carl Lawson can’t be counted on to stay healthy. That’s just the front-four, too. The rest of the defense is a mess that is relying heavily on Free Agency adds and 2020 draft picks. The defense is going to be a mess for Cincinnati.
2020 is not the year the Cincinnati Bengals win the AFC North and compete for the playoffs. The team is certainly trending in the right direction if Burrow pans out for them at quarterback. The future is bright for these Bengals, but 2020 is too soon to see this team take off.
Cincinnati Bengals 2020 predicted record: 5-11
AFC North record: 1-5