Midseason injuries to cornerback Chidobe Awuzie and offensive tackle La’el Collins were supposed to slow this team down, but they really didn’t. Despite the injury bugging taking a serious bite, the Bengals kept prodding along the warpath earning victory after victory after victory, winning their final eight completed games, including a win over the Kansas City Chiefs, who quarterback Joe Burrow has never lost to.
This is just a very good team all around. While the offense gets all the love, the defense, even without Awuzie, has stepped up to the plate on more than one occasion. While the team isn’t getting the same sack numbers that they were in years past, the secondary has stepped up in its stead, forcing a league-low 58.9 completion percentage, and allowing only 17 touchdowns through the air — tied for the third-fewest in the league. Obviously, Burrow, Joe Mixon, Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd are a special group that is going to haunt the nightmares of every opposing defensive coordinator, but that’s just the tip of what makes this team tick.