Welcome back to your favorite offseason coverage at the LAFB Network. We haven’t broken into the moves that have happened yet this offseason but Zac Taylor will be our third coaching review from last year.

So far we’ve covered Freddie Kitchens and Kliff Kingsbury. Kingsbury undoubtedly outshined Freddie Kitchens but after further analysis, we found that Kitchens too exceeded some expectations.

This week we have Zac Taylor on the chopping block and we will see some of his ups and downs from the past season. Of course, who could forget A.J. Green getting hurt during the offseason and never truly suiting up, so try not to hold that against him or the QBs that didn’t have the dynamic receivers help.

Zac Taylor’s Impact On Your Fantasy Team

As always we’re going to start things off with what Taylor did the best to what he did the worst. Here is where his questionable season began.

Receiving Game – Tight Ends

2018-2019

Rec. Yards – 708

Targets – 100

Completions – 67

Rec. TDs – 5

2019-2020

Rec. Yards – 721

Targets – 112

Completions – 77

Rec. TDs – 7

TIGHT ENDS! Really Zac Taylor!? I guess we shouldn’t be surprised with how the Bengals’ season turned out, but still, what a head-scratcher. When you add up all the points TEs could accumulate from both seasons, without fumbles, last season the Bengal TEs scored 167.8 points and this season they finished with 199.1.

I know the TE position itself didn’t even total what players like Christian McCaffrey or Aaron Jones finished with but a 30 point increase in the position is really something. Their TD output increased, receiving yards slightly jumped and the completions to TEs were 10 more than last season.

So it doesn’t look like the Bengals did anything to make any major changes but it does look like they saw that their TE position had favorable matchups during games and capitalized on them. Between all the TEs who caught a ball, the longest breakout reception was only 37 yards by C.J. Uzomah. That leads me to believe that they were more reliant on the TE position throughout the year.

Receiving Yards – Wide Receivers

2018-2019

Rec. Yards – 2,306

Targets – 317

Completions – 181

Rec. TDs – 21

2019-2020

Rec. Yards – 2,756

Targets – 388

Completions – 213

Rec. TDs – 9

Technically speaking the Bengals’ WR did improve this season from last; 542.6 and 537.6 fantasy points respectively. Personally there are a couple things that stick out to me when checking out their stats. They did have 400 yards more receiving yards and 71 more targets this season but lost 12 receiving TDs and dropped 3% in their completion rate (57.1% to 54.9%).

Personally I think the TDs and completion rate out-weigh the yardage and targets. Targets are cool and all but if you’re not completing them, what’s the point. The TDs are self-explanatory. 12 TDs are 72 points not helping your fantasy teams which is clearly a problem.

I know what you’re thinking, thanks A.J. Green, you totally helped out the team. But in the 2018-2019 season, Green suited up for only nine games. He pretty much didn’t help out either Bengals’ team.

On the other hand, in both seasons the Bengals did have a 1,000-yard receiver. Tyler Boyd came through in big ways for Cincy both this season and last. His targets skyrocketed from 6.8 targets a game to 9.3. Of course, you should expect some regression next season, especially if A.J. Green comes back, but clearly Boyd has a sturdy home in Cincinnati.

Passing Yards – Quarterbacks

2018-2019

Passing Yards – 3,569

Attempts – 542

Completions – 331

TDs – 27

Interceptions – 13

2019-2020

Passing Yards – 3,994

Attempts – 616

Completions – 356

TDs – 18

Interceptions – 16

We all know Andy Dalton was benched this season for a few games and replaced by Ryan Finley, but similarly last season, Dalton was out for almost double the time. That left Jeff Driskel to take the starting job for a handful of games. I say this because I want to make sure we are all on the same page when I point out how horrendous things have turned for the Cincinnati Bengals this season.

Andy Dalton had one of his worse outings at QB this season but by golly did he really take a hit this year. It also doesn’t really help that Dalton’s backup couldn’t seem to find a win if it slapped them on their chin straps. Both Driskel and Finley combined for a 1 and 7 record. Driskel had a better showcase with six TDs and 2 Ints in 2018 compared to Finley’s 2 and 2 this past season.

Clearly the Bengals need a new QB, and if not a new starting QB, then a new backup. The only stat that improved was the 400 passing yards this season but we already knew this because of the WR section. The passing yards don’t matter as much as the nine fewer TDs and a completion rate going from 61.1% to a 57.8% drop.

Rushing Game – Running Backs

2018-2019

Rushing Yards – 1,413

Attempts – 307

Rush TDs – 11

Rec. Yards – 555

Targets – 111

Completions – 83

Rec. TD – 1

2019-2020

Rushing Yards – 1,307

Attempts – 331

Rush TDs – 5

Rec. Yards – 521

Targets – 88

Completions – 65

Rec. TDs – 3

Finally we are on the RBs. This might come as a surprise since the Bengals improved their rushing game by the second half of the season, but this is a whole year’s analysis, so I am looking at both halves.

Luckily for us, Joe Mixon was the sole rushing attack for the most part of both seasons which makes our article easier to muster. Giovani Bernard, of course, suited up and played, but he didn’t contribute nearly as much as Mixon for the ground game.

Unfortunately, everything that matters for fantasy purposes and RBs was a complete decrease in production from the 2018 season. Their average rushing attempt went from 4.6 yards to 3.9, TDs dropped by six scores and they didn’t involve the RBs in the passing game nearly as much.

No doubt the difference of record might have a hand in this. Last season the Bengals finished at 6-10, while this year they concluded at 2-14. If you’re not winning as many games, most likely your team won’t be running the ball as much. We all know what garbage time points are but they are only relevant to the QBs and WRs. Sometimes RBs get involved but if they do it is normally the passing down back.

Conclusion

Should Zac Taylor keep his job after his 2-14 record? I don’t know. For fantasy purposes I would say he deserves another shot. Overall he improved two positions but the other two suffered. Granted Joe Burrow might fix one of those positions, but I would bank on the Bengals getting their RBs more involved with the rookie QB getting in the fold of things. If there’s no Joe, then I can’t say I have much hope in the Cincinnati Bengals offense and their future with Zac Taylor.

Cincinnati Bengals Running Back Joe Mixon. Photo Credit: Joe Glorioso | All-Pro Reels | Under Creative Commons License

Cincinnati Bengals Running Back Joe Mixon. Photo Credit: Joe Glorioso | All-Pro Reels | Under Creative Commons License

Thaddeus Kline

Author Thaddeus Kline

SoCal student with degrees in Creative Writing and Literature, hoping to one day make a little dent in history my own way.

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