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Joe Burrow, the Bengals and Cincinnati’s Football Woes

When the first round of the NFL Draft takes place and the Cincinnati Bengals choose Joe Burrow as their franchise quarterback, will it be everything the fans have dreamed of? Will Burrow be able to replicate this success on the professional level? It’s very likely. Will he be able to do it right away with the Bengals? I don’t think it matters that much for the 2020 season.

Joe Burrow cigar
Credit: LSU Football/Twitter

Joe Burrow’s Story is Perfect for Cincinnati

Burrow is, for all intents and purposes, a hometown kid. Athens, OH is just two hours from downtown Cincinnati. It might as well be within city limits, when Bengals fans talk about Joe Burrow. Add that to the fact that he started his college career at Ohio State, the only common football ground between rival Browns and Bengals fans. Burrow will already be like family to the city before he ever steps onto the field in a Bengals uniform.

Then, there’s Cincinnati itself. This is a city who is still collectively furious that Pete Rose is not in Cooperstown, who still idolizes the Big Red Machine, where every year time stops for one basketball game between Xavier and UC. The pride Cincinnati has is breathtaking. Todd Frazier saw that when he won the Home Run Derby at Great American in 2015. That is what Burrow is stepping into — a city and a fan base who is ready to come together in a big way around a struggling team they love.

Offense is Solid on Paper

Burrow going first in the draft will be something that unites a fan base that has suffered some of the most heartbreaking lows over the past five years. To Bengals fans, 2015’s AFC Wild Card calamity was just another symptom of Marvin Lewis’ head coaching tenure. When it was finally over for the 2019 season, Bengals fans looked for unity behind Zac Taylor. When Taylor had a rough first year as a head coach, they rallied behind Joe Mixon, and the hope that AJ Green will be able to play in a football game sometime this century. Combine Burrow with Taylor, Mixon, Tyler Boyd and hopefully Green, and that offense is going to be good, assuming they get the offensive line in order.

Joe Burrow Bengals Predictions for 2020

I think Joe Burrow is going to be a great NFL player, but I think that expectations need to be tempered when it comes to the Bengals. Burrow will do great, but there are plenty of other things that could go wrong on this team. Coach Taylor is the person that needs to focus on making his staff and his team ready to improve. Their significant needs right now include upgrading the offensive line and shoring up the defense against the pass.

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