The Cincinnati Bengals are the defending AFC Champions.
They came out of nowhere, got hot at the right time, and won clutch games when they needed to in their journey to the Super Bowl.
The Cincinnati Bengals, the team with the third-longest Super Bowl odds before the season — behind only the Texans and Lions — are one win from a world championship.
From 6 combined wins in 2019 and 2020 to a spot in Super Bowl LVI. Unreal.
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) January 30, 2022
Though they did not defeat the Los Angeles Rams, there is every reason to believe they can repeat their success and make a second straight trip to the big game in 2023.
Immediately after the Super Bowl loss, oddsmakers gave them the fourth-best odds to win the 2023 Super Bowl.
Cincinnati Bengals open with fourth-best odds to win 2023 Super Bowl https://t.co/oTySI4Ktb1
— WLWT (@WLWT) February 14, 2022
The Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs had better odds in the AFC, and the defending champion Los Angeles Rams had better odds than the Bengals in the NFC.
Getting to the big game is the first step, and here are three reasons why the Bengals can get back to the Super Bowl next season.
3. They Were Battle-Tested In 2021
The Bengals are a young team comprised of a lot of early-round draft picks from recent years.
Do the Bengals have the best offense in the NFL? pic.twitter.com/VppHrAz1tK
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) April 16, 2022
Though football fans thought they would ultimately succeed, no one expected it in 2021.
They are no longer the Cinderella story; these players are battle-tested and ready to compete.
2021 was a building block for the Bengals, and they are now more confident.
2. Evan McPherson Is A Stud Kicker
Kickers win football games.
They can also lose games if they cannot perform in big moments.
Evan McPherson, in his rookie season, was phenomenal.
The Bengals know they can rely on him, and he never seems to flinch.
Confidence is key to being an NFL kicker.
There is a reason why Evan McPherson had a lot of success with being on a team like the Cincinnati Bengals.
— Isabelle (@IsabelleMM2) April 16, 2022
His rookie year is just the beginning of what could be a huge career for him.
1. Joe Burrow Is A Star
The Bengals have their franchise quarterback.
From the day he was drafted No. 1 overall in 2020, he was declared a star.
And he has lived up to all of the expectations.
Joe Burrow’s draft night was a little different to many others!
Is the @Bengals QB the best #1 pick in recent memory? pic.twitter.com/gczbimQ0bk
— NFL UK (@NFLUK) April 17, 2022
Joe Burrow led them to the Super Bowl in his second season.
That was after he missed the end of his rookie season with a torn ACL and MCL.
The addition of his former LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase was just what the doctor ordered.
What Could Stop The Bengals?
The Bengals could have two potential issues in their pursuit of Super Bowl glory.
The first is that they will play a more difficult schedule.
They have the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, and Dallas Cowboys on the docket.
Official Cincinnati Bengals 2022 Season Opponents! Lots of tough and therefore exciting matchups to look forward to. pic.twitter.com/d2qNXhIrIj
— Jack 💥 (@Cincinneumeyer) January 4, 2022
And the second is if they do not fix that offensive line, Burrow could have a long year or potentially get injured again.
In the 2021-22 season Joe Burrow proved to be very valuable. After taking a 4-11 team to the Super Bowl, many considered him the most valuable player in the NFL.
#Wincinnati #Bengals #JoeBurrow pic.twitter.com/9eKbn5Ui2v
— Wincy (@WincinnatiPod) April 11, 2022
Even though he played well, he was sacked too much, 70 times in 20 games to be exact.
That includes the regular season and the postseason.
No quarterback can withstand that type of physical wear and tear over consecutive seasons.
The AFC quarterback picture has grown a lot more competitive with Russell Wilson and Matt Ryan jumping conferences so it won’t be easy for the Bengals, but they are equipped to make the run.