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2021 Playoff Analysis: Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals
Elite Quarterback
7 points
Joe Burrow
Premiere Offensive Weapons
2 points per player
Ja'Marr Chase
Tee Higgins
Joe Mixon / Samaje Perine
Elite Pass Rushers
4 points per player
Trey Hendrickson
Quality Offensive Coaching
6 points
Quality Defensive Coaching
6 points
Number of Successful Comebacks
7 total points if the team successfully staged at least 3 comebacks
Elimination Game Experience
2 points each for offense, defense, and special teams units, provided a majority of key role players on a given unit have experience in elimination game scenarios.
Quarterback Elimination Game Experience
6 points if a quarterback has experience in an elimination game
Score Range
17 - 19

Cincinnati will be a fun team to watch. Being one of the only two teams in the postseason with an elite quarterback gives them a significant leg up here. Add on top of that a pretty solid set of weapons headlined by Ja’Marr Chase and the Bengals arrive into the playoffs with one of the better offenses in the league.

It’s the defense that worries me the most here. The unit only features one bona fide pass rusher in Trey Hendrickson, with nobody else even worth consideration as a potentially elite pass rusher moments away from breaking out. Larry Ogunjobi and Sam Hubbard has had their moments but neither have demonstrated enough consistency or left behind a tangible fingerprint in the Bengals games I’ve seen so far. On top of that, Lou Anaramo has done precious little this season to demonstrate his competence as a top defensive mind. Much like Green Bay, the Bengals this year have been successful thanks much more to talent than wit. Unfortunately, teams built on talent need to be stacked in that regard and they also need to exhibit some significant degree of mental toughness. While Burrow has given this team some backbone, it’s not enough, especially when they’ve given up as many comebacks as they’ve successfully staged this season.

So that being said, Cincinnati’s ceiling is low. A wild card victory is very possible, but their lack of experience could hurt them bad here, especially if Zac Taylor and Lou Anaramo are unable to compensate with some clever scheming.

Cincinnati exits the playoffs in the first round if
their young roster’s lack of experience in elimination game scenarios leads them to commit too many errors against a Raiders team coming fresh off an elimination contest against the Chargers.