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Bengals Team Report: Stars Shine on Offense

The star power on the Cincinnati offense is as good as any team in the NFL with quarterback Joe Burrow throwing to Tyler Boyd, Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins when he isn’t handing it off to Joe Mixon. That has led the Bengals to two AFC Championship game appearances and a trip to the Super Bowl. Are the Bengals ready to make the next step and win the franchise’s first Super Bowl title?

The NFL predictions have lofty expectations for the Bengals as Cincinnati is tied for the fourth in the odds to win the Super Bowl.

Bengals Team Report: Stars Shine on Offense
Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals - Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/afp

When looking at the NFL odds, Chase is tied for the best odds to win the NFL Offensive Player of the Year award.

Top Training Camp Storyline

It will be worth watching to see how much the projected starting offensive line gets to play together with Orlando Brown Jr. coming in to be the new left tackle, and how that might impact the NFL picks. The Bengals added Alex Cappa, La’el Collins and Ted Karras a season ago and they are hoping that Brown is the missing link as they look to limit the pressure on Burrow. He has been sacked 124 times in his first three NFL seasons. When given time to throw, this offense can be unstoppable so getting the timing of the offensive line down will be a key piece of the preseason.

Impact Rookies

Cincinnati used its first three picks to address the offense. Clemson defensive end Myles Murphy is joined by Michigan cornerback D.J. Turner and Alabama safety Jordan Battle.

Murphy had 18½ sacks in his three seasons at Clemson and looks to make more of an impact as a pass rusher at the next level. The NFL betting lines list Murphy with the 10th best odds to win the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

The secondary will look much different with Turner and Battle having the chance to earn key roles after the departures of safeties Vonn Bell and Jessie Bates as well as cornerback Tre Flowers.

Cincinnati’s top two picks in 2022 were also used on defensive backs Daxton Hill and Cam Taylor-Britt so it is clear where the focus has been in recent drafts.


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Offseason Moves that Turned Heads

Picking up Brown from AFC rival Kansas City has a chance to allow the Bengals’ offense to be even tougher to stay in 2023.

The majority of the money that the Bengals spent on free agents from other teams went to signing the massive Brown to a four-year contract. The Bengals should have pretty good intel on Brown since he used to play for division rival Baltimore and they faced Brown’s Kansas City team in the last two AFC Championship games.

The Bengals also picked up former Minnesota tight end Irv Smith Jr. to give Burrow another option when he drops back to pass. The big challenge will be keeping Smith on the field as he has played a total of eight games over the last two seasons.

The secondary lost its top two tacklers when Bates signed with the Atlanta Falcons and Bell moved on to the Carolina Panthers. While some early picks have been used to upgrade the secondary, it remains to be seen how effective those players are.

Ultimately, Cincinnati’s campaign will be determined by how things play out in the postseason with Kansas City and Buffalo featuring elite quarterbacks and game-breaking pass catchers, having questions when it comes to pass coverage is not ideal for a team eyeing a Super Bowl run.

Safety Nick Scott comes in from the Los Angeles Rams and former Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Sidney Jones was also signed to try to help the secondary.

Final Analysis

Don’t be surprised if quarterback Joe Burrow and some of his top receivers play sparingly in the preseason games since they have shown what they can do.

It will be a different story at some other positions so it will be worth watching to see how much playing time the projected starters see once the preseason games roll around.

There is no reason to think that the Bengals won’t be in contention for a third straight AFC title game appearance and the last thing they need is to lose a key player in a meaningless preseason game.

The first two games of the regular season come against fellow AFC North teams so the Bengals can’t afford to be too conservative when it comes to preparing the best players for the start of the season that has so much promise. It is a challenging balancing act for Taylor and his coaching staff to monitor.

Cincinnati Bengals Odds

Training Camp Info

  • Coach: Zac Taylor (fifth season)
  • Training Camp Reporting Dates: July 22 (Rookies); July 25 (Veterans)
  • First Preseason Game: Aug. 11, Green Bay
  • Week 1: Sept. 10, at Cleveland
  • Bye: Week 7

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