The schedule for Cincinnati Bengals 2021 is set and it is clear that the league doesn’t think it’s going to be much fun to watch. This could be due to planning difficulties, low expectations, or other factors. Their only primetime game takes place on a Thursday evening, which each team gets. So many Bengals fans are upset. This line of thought is understandable, but is it that bad for this year? Here are some reasons it can be positive for this important campaign.
Cincinnati Bengals Schedule: No Primetime? No problem.
Reason one: Joe Burrow thrives with a chip on his shoulder.
Quarterback Joe Burrow embodies Ohio Grit. This is one of the reasons why 2020 was such a good fit with this organization. A quarterback with the same result comes from a region with a chip on the shoulder. This attitude can be traced back to his time at Athens High School in southeast Ohio. Burrow is on record and discusses his lack of important offers and the motivation he has gained from them. Deep family ties with Nebraska made it no secret that Burrow wanted to suit the Cornhuskers. Unfortunately, they didn’t share the same feeling. In fact, the people at Lincoln Burrow passed on not just once, but twice. An interesting quote from head coach Scott Frost made headlines after the second pass.
However, the nudge from his childhood team didn’t stop him. A full ride to Huskers’ Big Ten rival, Ohio State, wasn’t a bad consolation prize. Burrow still ended up with a national power, but the odds didn’t stop there. A mix of injuries and a deep quarterback space resulted in Burrow never playing any significant snaps for the Buckeyes. The decision to name Dwayne Haskins as a starter resulted in the now famous transfer to Baton Rouge.
Rest assured, he set out to attack the SEC with a point to prove.
How does this lead to a lack of prime time exposure?
Put simply, Burrow is a guy who finds anything he can use as motivation. He sees networks that don’t seem to have him in their best slots. His mission will no doubt be to get them to change their thinking in a hurry.
Reason two: The Bengals haven’t had great media coverage lately
This off-season was another one that was filled with investments in defending the bottom 10 spots. There was also the addition of veteran offensive tackle signing fans that have been asked for, albeit in the final days of the free hand. Even then, speakers on the sports network weren’t too happy with the team’s off-season approach. Most (if not all) of this can be attributed to not getting a lot of buzz on the offensive line. After that fateful November Sunday in DC, the focus was seldom elsewhere.
Due to the simple fact that the off-season is so heavily criticized by the well-known networks, it may ease the pressure somewhat to turn off the team’s national spotlight. The players, coaches and fans are not being scrutinized as closely as our revamped squad enters the field this fall. The team that visits the slot on Sunday at 1 p.m. does not normally get much airtime from the “experts” on TV on Monday morning. Until they can no longer be ignored.
Reason three: The Bengals schedule means rested fans
For many fans, there is no sleep for hours after the game. Most either drive the climax of a big win or try to find answers after a heavy loss. In both cases, the settlement process is not quick. Checking in with pressers after the game, scrolling Twitter for the thoughts of favorite analysts, and sometimes watching the game is the order of the day for Who Dey Nation. Sure, neither of us mind staying up until midnight to see our boys compete in stripes, but maybe a little rough the next morning. Fans happily take a dazed Monday or Tuesday morning to see the team, but that’s a small perk of this year’s Bengals schedule for the average fan.
The message: let them sleep, their game will wake them up
All in all, having your favorite team on the biggest stages in NFL football is exciting, and it’s understandable to view the lack of prime time spots as a sign of disrespect. The good news is that disrespect can lead to the pride one feels when the NFL world gets noticed.
With the NFL Flex scheduling rules tweaked a bit, there’s no guarantee you’ll be in the saturated Sunday afternoon slot all season.
Burrow-throwing his college pal Ja’Marr Chase and the return of the bell cow walking back Joe Mixon might be just what wake-up networks need. The key is that the fireworks are consistent.
A motivated franchise quarterback, a souped-up line of defense, an expensive secondary, and multiple offensive line moves didn’t make the Bengals an off-season media favorite. It might be just enough to turn the lights back on in Cincinnati, however.
If the anticipated offensive explosion occurs, the team will get more Premier slots on the Bengals 2021 schedule.
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