With the first overall selection, the Cincinnati Bengals selected Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Joe Burrow. On Week 12 of the 2020 season, the New York Giants will get an early glimpse of just how talented Burrow is.
Depending on the New York Giants’ early success and failures in 2020, Week 12 will serve as a crossroads for a young team. Coming off a bye in Week 11, the season will either be a push for respect in the NFC East or a redirect to the future.
Key Losses: QB Andy Dalton, LT Cordy Glenn, CB Dre Kirkpatrick, CB Darqueze Dennard, TE Tyler Eifert
Key free agent signings: CB Trae Waynes, CB Mackensie Alexander, S Vonn Bell, DT D.J. Reader,
Draft picks: QB Joe Burrow, WR Tee Higgins, LB Logan Wilson, LB Akeem Davis-Gaither, DE Khalid Kareem, OT Hakeem Adeniji, LB Markus Bailey
The first year under rookie head coach Zac Taylor was a tumultuous one. Finishing last in the NFL in overall record was well below the expectations of many, but the Bengals are now a step closer to finishing their rebuild.
Their roster overhaul was centered around adding young talented players with early picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. Besides Burrow, Cincinnati added another receiving threat with Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins. They also selected a young, electric linebacking duo of Logan Wilson and Akeem Davis Gaither.
It will be an odd sight not having Andy Dalton under center from the Bengals in 2020. However, the surrounding cast remains the same, featuring an elite and underrated group. Their receiving corps flexes a diverse skillset of AJ Green, Tyler Boyd, John Ross, Tee Higgins, and Auden Tate. That group will provide a multitude of options for Burrow to throw to.
The Bengals’ running game is led by Joe Mixon, supplemented by the change of pace of Giovanni Bernard. While rushing lanes were few for Mixon last season, he did surpass 1,100 yards.
The most glaring issue for the Bengals offense is the inconsistency at offensive line. 2019 first-round selection Jonah Williams missed all of last season due to injury. Williams returning should supply an instant impact for a group that allowed 50 sacks in 2019.
Defensively, the Bengals boast a veteran-laden group, especially their defensive line. Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins may be over 30 but they are both still quality players at their respective positions. Cincinnati also added defensive tackle D.J Reader to the mix.
Their secondary brought in multiple new faces with Minnesota Vikings cornerbacks Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander. Vonn Bell joins Jessie Bates III at sfety.
The primary focus for Week 12 will be how these two young quarterbacks fair against each other. Both the Giants and Bengals are looking to reclaim success in 2020 and will need Jones and Burrow to lead the charge. This game could turn into a shootout between Jones and Burrow because of the general weaknesses for both teams defensively.
Another matchup that will draw the attention of fans is how the Giants young restructured secondary handles an explosive Bengals receiving group. With so many different options, the Giants will need to be prepared to slow down their pass catchers.
This matchup will provide a glimpse at what the future holds for the NFL. While the two squads may not be favorited to compete for their divisions next season, they can eventually develop into the conference contenders down the line.