A new era will begin in 2019 for the Cincinnati Bengals.
After 16 seasons and four AFC North titles, longtime head coach Marvin Lewis mutually parted ways with the team. Los Angeles Rams quarterback coach Zac Taylor takes over. After what Taylor did with Jared Goff in LA, hopes are high in Cincinnati that he can take Andy Dalton to the next level in his ninth season in the NFL.
In the running game, Joe Mixon had an excellent sophomore season, racking up nearly 1,200 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. Wide receiver A.J. Green keeps performing well, when healthy. He had around 700 yards rushing and six touchdowns in nine games in 2018. It was the lowest output of his career, but he was in-line with his career averages, so a healthy Green should produce in 2019.
It’s tough to go wrong with an offensive lineman selection in the first round of the NFL Draft, and the Bengals picked Alabama tackle/guard Jonah Williams with the 11th pick. Cincy also had productive picks in Day 3 of the Draft. QB Ryan Finley out of North Carolina State was considered a steal in the fourth round. He’s a project but has time to learn and work with Dalton and Taylor. Texas A&M running back Trayveon Williams was taken in the sixth round; he can run and catch out of the backfield and could pay immediate dividends.
This past winter, the Bengals, Cincinnati, and Hamilton County struck a deal to revise the terms of the team’s lease at Paul Brown Stadium, which can go until 2036. As part of the deal, over $42 million worth of improvements will be pumped into the stadium from now until 2022. The team also purchased a 15-acre site west of the stadium to build up to 1,900 parking spots and, potentially, an indoor practice facility. One of the perks of watching a game in a suite at Paul Brown Stadium continues to be in-suite visits from Bengals alumni!
The 2019 schedule, as always, features both home and road contests with division foes Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Baltimore. Other clubs visiting Paul Brown Stadium in 2019 are San Francisco, Arizona, Jacksonville, the New York Jets, and New England Patriots. Non-AFC North road games are at Seattle, Buffalo, the LA Rams (in London), Oakland, and Miami.