3. Cincinnati Bengals
The line of thinking here is very similar to the line of thinking for the Philadelphia Eagles, although more things are in place for the Cincinnati Bengals. Joe Burrow is entering his second year in the league with Justin Herbert and Zac Taylor is entering his third season as the head coach of the Bengals.
The young quarterback and young head coach dynamic still applies, though. While they have a playbook that is more established and has been done before, Burrow is still coming off of a grueling injury and it would not be surprising to see him struggle right away.
The Bengals feel like the ultimate finish strong bad team. It seems like every year there is a team like this and ironically enough, the Chargers were kind of this team in 2020 as they won their final four games.
The perfect example is the Miami Dolphins from 2019. A team that everyone expected to be the worst in the league, Brian Flores made the most of the team and by the end of the year they were a tough beat. They may have only gone 5-11, but they won their last two and three of their last five.
One of the losses in the final five games was a one-point loss as well, so they were in the games.
These are typically the teams that go into the following season and turn the ship around, which is what the hope is for the Chargers this year. That is exactly what the Dolphins did and might be what the Bengals do.
If everything goes as planned it will really start clicking for the Bengals and then they can comfortably call themselves a playoff contender the following year. There will be more hiccups early on, which is when the LA Chargers should be hoping to face them.