Bengals considered one of the least analytically advanced NFL teams

James Rapien

CINCINNATI — The Bengals are considered one of the least analytically advanced NFL teams according to a recent poll conducted by ESPN. 

Cincinnati was tied for third in the poll, receiving three votes for the least analytically advanced franchise. 

The Washington Football team received six votes. The Tennessee Titans were second with five votes. The Bengals and Giants both received three votes, followed by the Steelers (2). The Texans, Chiefs, Raiders, Saints, Chargers and Buccaneers each received one vote.

ESPN surveyed 26 NFL analytics staffers for the poll, which is about 30 percent of the full-time analysts in the league.

It certainly isn't surprising to see the Bengals on this list. No one would say they're on the forefront of analytics in the NFL. 

Two AFC North rivals lead the way in that department. The Baltimore Ravens received 15 votes, which put them in first. The Cleveland Browns were second in the poll, receiving seven votes.

Bengals head coach Zac Taylor has certainly embraced analytics in a way that Marvin Lewis didn't during his tenure. Taylor's staff is young and adaptable, which could serve them well moving forward. 

All but one of the voters expect the number of analytics staffers on each NFL team to increase by at least 10 percent over the next three years. 

Sam Francis is the Bengals' lone analytics staffer. He helped with game clock management last season and is assisting the coaching staff in a variety of ways in 2020. The Bengals hired him in 2019. 

"Sam's got a lot of knowledge in that head of his," Taylor said in August. "He's got a big book of information that he knows how to process a lot better than I do. Sam does a really, really good job for us over the course of the entire year, but specifically game week. He gets the information to the right people, the coordinators, (Dan) Pitcher, Troy Walters this year, and then he meets with us as staff at the end of the week as we get prepared for the game and then on game day plays a good role, so we're really happy with the job that Sam does and we're glad to have him."

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