The question of the NFL season: Will the Cincinnati Bengals break the curse?


Liam Downie

AFC rankings of the Cincinnati Bengals over the past years.

     Currently, the Cincinnati Bengals are 5-3, leading the AFC North with them recently beating the Baltimore Ravens 41-17.

     In the past ten years, the Bengals have had their ups and downs as they only won the division in 2013 and 2015. Along with this, in the years 2011-2015, they made the playoffs but with a curse, they lost in the first round every time they make the playoffs with the well-known quarterback Andy Dalton.

     In Dalton’s first year as a Bengal, he lead them to the playoffs but after that, it seemed like Dalton lost his groove. Even with his best year after 2015 being in 2017 with a record of 7-9-0. He got released by the Bengals in 2019 to introduce the young quarterback from Ohio State and Lousiana State University Joe Burrow.

     In 2019, when Burrow was playing for LSU, Burrow and Jamar Chase, who were previously unstoppable in college are now both playing with the Bengals. Burrow and Chase led LSU to an undefeated season, along with aBurrow also winning the Heisman Trophy that year.

     Burrow was the first pick in the 2020 draft and was having a good year playing a total of 10 games. Sadly, he had a season-ending left knee injury against the Washington football team on November 22, 2020. The top overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft became the latest quarterback to tear multiple ligaments in one knee. Burrow tore his left ACL and MCL, also suffering partial tears to his PCL and meniscus, according to sources. Even with the damage, he made a full recovery and is now healthy.

     After Burrow had the season-ending injury, the Bengals had to bring in two quarterbacks, Brandon Allen and Ryan Finley, to play the rest of the season. The 2020 Bengals finished fourth in the AFC North, ending with a record of 4-11-1.

     With Joe Burrow making a speedy recovery, he was able to play in the 2021 season and has shown fans that he has the potential to be a top 5 quarterback in a couple of years. If the Bengals want him to be a top 5 quarterback, they need to build a good team around him to prevent him from getting injured again. Since the Bengals did not have a good offensive line he got sacked 32 times. 

     The Bengals took a risk drafting former LSU teammate of Joe Burrow, Jamar Chase, and not drafting offensive linemen. As of weak seven, it seems that they chose right in picking Jamar Chase, as he has already has broken records and is on his way to winning the 2021-2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year trophy. 

     If the Bengals keep playing how they have been this season, they might win the AFC North, which is out of the ordinary for them.  Although, many are skeptical due to the knowledge of the “Bengal curse.” Every time they make the playoffs they seem to lose in the first round, so hopefully, they can break this cycle and go further in the playoffs this season.

      The Bengals play next on Sunday, November 7 against the Cleveland Browns.