A very up-and-down, yet consistently exhilarating regular season has come to an end.
I remember “fun” being the expectation for this team back in August. I remember myself using that word when I talked about what the 2021 season will hold. Nobody should challenge the idea that the 2021 Cincinnati Bengals have been fun. Some people, like Drew Brees, who also happens to be the game analyst for Saturday’s playoff game, have called the Bengals “must watch tv.”
Now, with their first playoff game in 5 years looming, fun is no longer the goal. Not for the fans who have suffered through the longest drought from a postseason win in American sports at least.
And it isn’t for the players, either. Their eyes are set on much more than even the one elusive win in January according to LT Jonah Williams.
Coincidentally, Jonah Williams is one of the many recent additions to the Bengals roster that comes from a winning background. Adding guys that have a “wins come first” mentality has become a big point of emphasis for Zac Taylor and the front office over the last few years. You can go down a list and know right away that this team is full of winners.
To name a few:
- Joe Burrow
- Ja’Marr Chase
- Jonah Williams
- Tee Higgins
- Vonn Bell
- Eli Apple
- Trey Hendrickson
- Jackson Carman
- Mike Hilton
- Sam Hubbard
Each and every one of the guys I just mentioned (and there are more) are guys that have come to the Bengals since the new regime took over in effort to implement a change of culture. Each and every one of them have also been a part of a game or 5 that’s in the national spotlight. Whether it was for their former NFL team or if it was throwing for 463 yards and 5 TDs in the National Championship in college. These guys were built for this.
It’s an unbelievable feat to watch unfold, because this is the vision that Zac Taylor and the coaches have tried to get spectators like us from the outside to buy into from day one. Now, they just have to close in on what they’ve been selling. They have a golden opportunity to do that against the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday.