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Arkansas Bengal
07-15-2014, 11:58 AM
Silva's Pre-Camp Team Rankings

By Evan Silva 23 hours ago Rotoworld (http://rotoworld.com)



With training camp fast approaching, Rotoworld's Evan Silva ranks the NFL's Rosters 1-32

Updated since the NFL draft, these are my second annual Pre-Camp Roster Rankings. The process in devising these rankings is imperfect, and inarguably subjective. Inevitably, certain teams will perform better than I anticipate during the forthcoming season. Others will fare worse.

Please keep in mind that the rankings are a projection for 2014, not a regurgitation of last year’s results. I make plenty of references to 2013 in the Offensive and Defensive Overviews, but there has been a lot of player turnover since last season ended, and the idea is to get a feel for where every team stands entering training camp. Quarterbacks and defensive line – with a special nod to pass rush -- weigh heavily into the rankings because they can mask or compensate for flaws and deficiencies elsewhere on a team.

8. Cincinnati Bengals

QB: Andy Dalton
RB: Giovani Bernard
WR: A.J. Green
WR: Marvin Jones
TE: Jermaine Gresham
TE: Tyler Eifert
LT: Andrew Whitworth
LG: Clint Boling
C: Russell Bodine*
RG: Kevin Zeitler
RT: Andre Smith

Offensive Overview: Cincy's offense lost LT Anthony Collins and WR Andrew Hawkins, but otherwise returns intact after ranking No. 10 in total yards and No. 6 in points scored. New OC Hue Jackson would certainly prefer a bigger-armed passer, but the nucleus in place fits Jackson's ball-control mindset intended to curb turnovers after Dalton committed 23 of them, including the fifth most interceptions in football. Expect expanded roles for Jones and Eifert at Mohamed Sanu and Gresham's expense. Jackson will emphasize a power run game and two-back approach, with Bernard as the primary playmaker and passing-game back, and rookie Jeremy Hill as the early-down and goal-line pounder. The offensive line is solid and the skill positions have consistently been strong enough to buoy Dalton in spite of his own talent deficiencies. Green is the blue chipper, entering his age-26 campaign with improved production each year he's been in the league. This is a top-dozen offense that will play more conservatively in 2014, but could tactically be more effective.

RE: Carlos Dunlap
LE: Wallace Gilberry
NT: Domata Peko
DT: Geno Atkins
MLB: Rey Maualuga
WLB: Vontaze Burfict
SLB: Emmanuel Lamur
LCB: Darqueze Dennard*
RCB: Leon Hall
FS: Reggie Nelson
SS: George Iloka

Defensive Overview: The Bengals' biggest offseason loss came on this side of the ball as RE Michael Johnson chased a $44 million contract to Tampa. Although Cincinnati was smart to not overpay, replacing Johnson presents a quandary they'll ostensibly fill by kicking Dunlap from his natural left-end position to the right side, and employing a committee approach on the other end involving Gilberry, Margus Hunt, and Robert Geathers. The secondary is more shaky with Hall attempting to return from his second career Achilles' tear, and rookie Dennard penned in as a starter. Defensive lynchpin Atkins tore his ACL last Halloween and is questionable for Opening Day. Combine these concerns with the loss of defensive overseer Mike Zimmer, and the Bengals may be poised for a step back defensively. I dropped them a spot in my rankings after the draft.

Baltimore is 13
Pissburgh is 16
Cleveland is 25

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/silvas-pre-camp-team-rankings-155900454--nfl.html

coup000
07-15-2014, 01:26 PM
8 is positively glowing considering the source of the article. Silva has been a hater of all things Bengals since this current team was put together. I'm not sure if it is Dalton or something else but he has always crapped on us. I'm surprised he includes us in his top 10....even though it's obvious we should be there.

Bengals1181
07-15-2014, 02:52 PM
NFL Stats ‏@NFL_Stats (https://twitter.com/NFL_Stats)2h (https://twitter.com/NFL_Stats/status/489075908758622211)
Top 10 ESPN Power Rankings
1. Seahawks
2. Broncos
3. 49ers
4. Patriots
5. Saints
6. Packers
7. Colts
8. Cardinals
9. Eagles
10. Bengals

Bengals1181
07-15-2014, 03:30 PM
Linebacker Rankings





24. Cincinnati Bengals



http://img.bleacherreport.net/img/slides/photos/003/719/232/hi-res-1ffbae0f478c68c552a421397dac52df_crop_north.jpg?w= 630&h=420&q=75
Al Behrman/Associated Press



Starters: Jayson DiManche, Rey Maualuga, Vontaze Burfict
Key Contributors: Vincent Rey, Sean Porter, Dontay Moch
The Cincinnati Bengals have one of my favorite linebackers on the roster in Vontaze Burfict, but the rest of the crew remains a bit of a question mark even after playing together for several years.
With Burfict at weak-side linebacker and Jayson DiManche on the strong side, the Bengals have a clear strength. DiManche is solid but is still developing as a second-year player. He came on strong last year, but he will be targeted by offenses this season.
The middle linebacker spot is held down by Rey Maualuga in the starting lineup, even though the team would be better off with Burfict or Vincent Rey in that role. Maualuga is solid against the run but a liability in pass coverage.
The depth here isn't great, especially with Dontay Moch failing to become much of a factor at outside linebacker.


http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2128955-power-ranking-nfl-linebacker-depth-charts/page/10 (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2128955-power-ranking-nfl-linebacker-depth-charts/page/10)

Arkansas Bengal
07-15-2014, 03:31 PM
Nice to see that the friggin stealers and ratbirds are no longer automatic top 10 because of their reputations.

I would love to see both of those scumbag organizations end up with losing records this year!

mongo
07-15-2014, 03:54 PM
I have a hard time believing the 3rd ranked defense in 2013 has the 24th ranked linebacking group.

Bengals1181
07-15-2014, 04:13 PM
NFL Head Coach Power Rankings



http://static.nfl.com/static/content/public/pg-photo/2014/07/14/0ap2000000365017/15-marvin-lewis-cincinnati-bengals_pg_600.jpg

Joe Robbins/Associated Press15) Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati BengalsYou're staring at the longest-tenured head coach in the NFL not named Bill Belichick. It's a bit surprising, given the Bengals' lack of postseason success and Lewis' so-so popularity, both in town and in league circles. None of this is to say he hasn't done a nice job, considering this team was nothing short of awful from 1991 to 2002. Lewis took charge in 2003, taking Cincy to the playoffs in '05, '09, '11, '12 and '13. Still, no postseason wins to date.


http://www.nfl.com/photoessays/0ap2000000365040/nfl-head-coach-power-rankings?campaign=Twitter_writers_harrison

Bengals1181
07-15-2014, 04:14 PM
Lewis' so-so popularity, both in town and in league circles.


I guarantee you these are league media circles as Marvin Lewis, no matter what you think of him, is highly respected by the coaches around the league.

mikesteelnation1
07-16-2014, 02:15 AM
Nice to see that the friggin stealers and ratbirds are no longer automatic top 10 because of their reputations.

I would love to see both of those scumbag organizations end up with losing records this year!

You need to slow your roll. Be respectful. Don't say ridiculous things you can't back up or don't want to defend when your franchise is brought into question.

How are the Steelers and ravens organizations scumbags? They are both amongst the MOST respected professional sports franchises. They are such because they win and they have great owners. Anyone calling the Rooneys a scumbag needs their head checked.. They both have 2 sb rings in the last 13 years, and the Steelers another appearance in the last 13 years. 8 AFC champ games of those 13 had either the Steelers or ravens in the game. One had both.

Your comments scream middle child syndrome. Steelers are big bro, ravens are the baby bro. Both deservedly get the attention they've gotten. The middle child had the complex. Nothing but playoff losses at the feet of your less than adequate qb, BTW it's why he doesnt have an extension. :)

The ravens and Steelers get the attention because they WIN playoff games!!! Meanwhile the Bengals go " also ran" when their qb craps the bed in the playoffs. The current Steelers and ravens qbs don't do that. They just mostly win those playoff games... The next will be the first for Dalton... Choke artist 10000000% of the time.... Limited skill set 1000% of the time.. defense and the other skill guys carry the red rocket..

coup000
07-16-2014, 06:59 AM
Wow, that post sounds like it was written by some computer program that is attempting to consolidate all the worst and most typical Steeler fan behaviors.

Arkansas Bengal
07-16-2014, 08:16 AM
You need to slow your roll. Be respectful. Don't say ridiculous things you can't back up or don't want to defend when your franchise is brought into question.

How are the Steelers and ravens organizations scumbags? They are both amongst the MOST respected professional sports franchises. They are such because they win and they have great owners. Anyone calling the Rooneys a scumbag needs their head checked.. They both have 2 sb rings in the last 13 years, and the Steelers another appearance in the last 13 years. 8 AFC champ games of those 13 had either the Steelers or ravens in the game. One had both.

Your comments scream middle child syndrome. Steelers are big bro, ravens are the baby bro. Both deservedly get the attention they've gotten. The middle child had the complex. Nothing but playoff losses at the feet of your less than adequate qb, BTW it's why he doesnt have an extension. :)

The ravens and Steelers get the attention because they WIN playoff games!!! Meanwhile the Bengals go " also ran" when their qb craps the bed in the playoffs. The current Steelers and ravens qbs don't do that. They just mostly win those playoff games... The next will be the first for Dalton... Choke artist 10000000% of the time.... Limited skill set 1000% of the time.. defense and the other skill guys carry the red rocket..

http://www.inthemomlight.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/cry-baby.jpg

membengal
07-16-2014, 08:58 AM
Yes. Be respectful. Random Steelers fan demands your respect. What with their rapey QB and their Aaron Hernandez loving club brawling center...all respect to them!

The Ravens, they too demand your respect. They may be on a crime spree at current, but that is probably just the Bengals' fault. Give them respect!

Bengals1181
07-16-2014, 09:03 AM
all right, all right, let's all settle down.

Arkansas Bengal
07-16-2014, 11:02 AM
If mikesteelnation1 had ever gone to a stealers game in Cincinnati, he would understand why I called the stealers scumbags. The only thing worse than their rude, imbred, knuckledragging 'fans' is their cheapshoting, overrated, over-the-hill team.

The stealers are easily the most hated team in the NFL--live with it.

Patrick Sullivan
07-16-2014, 12:39 PM
Easy, folks. No need for name-calling

Arkansas Bengal
07-16-2014, 01:44 PM
Easy, folks. No need for name-calling

I can understand if I went to the stealers board and made those comments, but I didn't. I made those comments in the BENGALS board.

If mikesteelnation1 doesn't like them, then stay off the BENGALS board. Don't come over here and start talking trash.

If that's a problem, maybe I need to go back to GoBengals.com...

Arkansas Bengal
07-16-2014, 01:49 PM
I guess I see now why mikesteelnation1 has to come to the Bengals board for news...there hasn't been a post in the stealer board this year :D

Bengals1181
07-16-2014, 01:52 PM
let's just leave it at that.

AB took a shot at the Steelers. Mike has every right to respond and defend them, though didn't need to escalate and make it personal.


Let's just set the ground rules now as this isn't going to be the last time a shot is taken at an opponent, and it won't be the last time a fan of that team comes in to respond.

1) no getting personal. Mike didn't need to go there. Bengals fans didn't need to go there in response.

2) this IS a Bengals forum, so comments like AB's are going to happen, right or wrong. We're all adults. We're smart enough to know that just because a shot is taken at an opposing team doesn't make it true, or that the person even means it. It's football smack talk. I don't want to keep fans from other teams coming in to discuss topics, but I hope they also realize that this is the Bengals section, not the NFL section. Comments like the above will be made. I'd expect the same if they started making unflattering comments about the Bengals in the Steelers section.

Bengals1181
07-16-2014, 01:53 PM
I guess I see now why mikesteelnation1 has to come to the Bengals board for news...there hasn't been a post in the stealer board this year :D

we're the only one's that use their board regularly. The individual boards never really took off, which is why this one was available to us in the first place.

brauneyz
07-16-2014, 02:58 PM
Oh, yippee! New testosterone flying around!

Fellas, welcome aboard. Truly. But as newbies you must remember that while it seems like your personal Bengals forum, it is all part of the FP family. All posts show up on the front page first, so please don't think your snark can be hidden for long.

I know I speak for many of the oldtimers here that we look forward to your increased participation once the season gets underway. We are lovers of the game first, the NFL second, and then individual teams. Please join us in some of the other threads. We drink beer, rate hot girls, and can BS with the best. Welcome one and all.

Patrick Sullivan
07-16-2014, 03:26 PM
I can understand if I went to the stealers board and made those comments, but I didn't. I made those comments in the BENGALS board.

If mikesteelnation1 doesn't like them, then stay off the BENGALS board. Don't come over here and start talking trash.

If that's a problem, maybe I need to go back to GoBengals.com...

It's not a problem at all. Mike can be a bit ham-handed when he is trying to be funny, but he is actually a really good guy.

We all really hope you guys will spill over into the general threads once things pick back up here in a couple weeks.

Bengals1181
07-16-2014, 03:29 PM
Bengals fans, think of mike as the Steelers version of kmw. Good dude, smart football fan, sometimes takes it too far.

mongo
07-17-2014, 08:24 AM
No worries. Nothing good comes from rivals posting in each other's "sacred ground," so I didn't bother reading his post.

I look forward to some general NFL discussion, but not too much. My hierarchy tends to be the opposite of brauneyz. I watch Bengals games religiously, catch another game if I have the time, and only care about college football if there is a compelling matchup when I happen to be home... I think that means I love the Bengals first, the NFL second, and football third.

Bengals1181
07-17-2014, 08:45 AM
No worries. Nothing good comes from rivals posting in each other's "sacred ground," so I didn't bother reading his post.

I look forward to some general NFL discussion, but not too much. My hierarchy tends to be the opposite of brauneyz. I watch Bengals games religiously, catch another game if I have the time, and only care about college football if there is a compelling matchup when I happen to be home... I think that means I love the Bengals first, the NFL second, and football third.



I think most of us are in that position. Hopefully some of you feel comfortable enough (and you, Tigris and Numbers already have) to venture to other areas of the site, but understandably most of us are Bengals fans first and foremost, not just casual NFL fans.

brauneyz
07-17-2014, 11:01 AM
No worries. Nothing good comes from rivals posting in each other's "sacred ground," so I didn't bother reading his post.

I look forward to some general NFL discussion, but not too much. My hierarchy tends to be the opposite of brauneyz. I watch Bengals games religiously, catch another game if I have the time, and only care about college football if there is a compelling matchup when I happen to be home... I think that means I love the Bengals first, the NFL second, and football third.

mongo, thanks for your pointed response. While it's not what I would have preferred to hear, it is a useful distinction. Information is power, after all. As FP (d)evolves into its 5th season, we'll see what the injection of a Bengals subforum does.

Thanks again for your input.

coup000
07-17-2014, 11:18 AM
mongo, thanks for your pointed response. While it's not what I would have preferred to hear, it is a useful distinction. Information is power, after all. As FP (d)evolves into its 5th season, we'll see what the injection of a Bengals subforum does.

Thanks again for your input.

I think most of us feel similarly....and even if not our prior home was a Bengals only board so we may act like we feel that way.

Bengals1181
07-18-2014, 11:47 AM
Power Ranking NFL Secondary Depth Charts

13. Cincinnati Bengals


http://img.bleacherreport.net/img/slides/photos/003/720/625/hi-res-ab6e46996cd893c920325aa94298d4b6_crop_north.jpg?w= 630&h=420&q=75
Tom Uhlman/Associated Press



Starters: Terence Newman, George Iloka, Reggie Nelson, Adam Jones
Key Contributors: Leon Hall, Darqueze Dennard (rookie), Dre Kirkpatrick, Taylor Mays, Shawn Williams
The Cincinnati Bengals have no shortage of talent available, but will that talent be able to stay healthy and live up to expectations in 2014? The team has to hope so, but I'm not quite convinced yet.
The Ourlads.com (http://www.ourlads.com/nfldepthcharts/depthchart/CIN) depth chart has Terence Newman and Adam Jones starting, but the expectation will be that Leon Hall and either Darqueze Dennard or Dre Kirkpatrick move into the starting lineup soon. Kirkpatrick, a 2012 first-rounder, started to shine late last year and may finally be realizing his potential. If so, the Bengals will be ranked much higher after the year.
The safety play is an unknown, with George Iloka moving into a starting role. Taylor Mays provides veteran depth but is a major liability in coverage. Shawn Williams will back up Reggie Nelson at free safety, but Nelson's versatility is a major key to the Bengals' ranking and success on defense.
If the players here continue to play as they have in the past, and a few live up to their pre-draft rankings, the Bengals could have top-10 talent.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2130146-power-ranking-nfl-secondary-depth-charts/page/21 (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2130146-power-ranking-nfl-secondary-depth-charts/page/21)

Squirrlnutz
07-18-2014, 12:29 PM
So are things going to get shaky here if we constantly refer to the division rivals as the sh1tstains, ratbirds, and that cheap-shot-takin-steroid-laden-golden-shower-raping-team from pissburgh? Oy.

Go-Bengals fell apart because of in fighting but its going to be tough to swallow having to treat those other teams like actual people who deserve respect. I can already see it: preseason game 1 gameday thread gets the Bengals forum banned. Then again, nobody invited Rumble did they? Maybe we'll make it until week 3 before the ban-hammer comes down.

Bengals1181
07-18-2014, 12:41 PM
So are things going to get shaky here if we constantly refer to the division rivals as the sh1tstains, ratbirds, and that cheap-shot-takin-steroid-laden-golden-shower-raping-team from pissburgh? Oy.

Go-Bengals fell apart because of in fighting but its going to be tough to swallow having to treat those other teams like actual people who deserve respect. I can already see it: preseason game 1 gameday thread gets the Bengals forum banned. Then again, nobody invited Rumble did they? Maybe we'll make it until week 3 before the ban-hammer comes down.


no, things will be fine. Smack talk is welcome, just know that you're likely to get what you give (mainly from the steelers fans), lol.

As long as people don't make it (or take it) personal and don't take it too far, it should be fine.



Also, FP only has 3 steelers fans, 2-3 Browns fans, and 1 Ravens fans. Not a huge amount.

Bengals1181
07-18-2014, 03:44 PM
Preseason Power Rankings No. 9: Cincinnati Bengals

Posted by Mike Wilkening on July 18, 2014, 3:27 PM EDT
http://nbcprofootballtalk.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpt ixnzfiy2y1ztzmngflzte0mtaznme1ngrlytrlodu4-e1405711646104.jpeg?w=212
AP
The 2013 Bengals won 11 games, third-most in their history. They outscored opponents by 125 points, a margin superior to their Super Bowl entrants of 1981 (+117) and 1988 (+125). They were 4-0 against eventual playoff teams, knocking off Green Bay, New England, San Diego and Indianapolis.
But once again, Cincinnati was one-and-done in the postseason. The Chargers, whom the Bengals handled in December, turned the tables in January, rolling to a 27-10 wild card win in Cincinnati. And once again, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/6493/andy-dalton)played poorly on the playoff stage, committing three turnovers.
The loss dropped coach Marvin Lewis’ playoff record to 0-5, with three home playoff defeats. It also marked the 23rd consecutive season the franchise didn’t win a single postseason game.
The good news? The 2014 Bengals should contend for another trip to the playoffs. There are quite a few General Managers who would surely trade rosters with Cincinnati in a heartbeat, and that cannot be overlooked, even as another postseason setback is fresh in memory.

Strengths.
The Bengals’ defense is one of the league’s best. No AFC club was better stopping the opposition short on third downs a season ago, and only Seattle gave up less yards per play. Defensive tackle Geno Atkins (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/5749/geno-atkins) and weak-side linebacker Vontaze Burfict (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/7435/vontaze-burfict) (171 tackles in 2013 ) are the standouts on this skilled stop unit. Atkins, who comes off an ACL tear, is an outstanding interior rusher when healthy, while Burfict, a former undrafted free agent, has become a star.
The Bengals’ offense can hold up its end of the bargain, too. A.J. Green (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/6438/aj-green) (98 catches, 1,426 yards, 11 TDs in 2013) is a bona fide go-to receiver, a tall, fast, athletic, sure-handed pass catcher who can shred secondaries. Tailback Giovani Bernard (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/8389/giovani-bernard) (695 yards rushing, 514 yards receiving) is an exciting playmaker, as is wideout Marvin Jones (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/7503/marvin-jones) (51 catches, 712 yards, 10 TDs). The Bengals are deep at tight end, too, with Tyler Eifert (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/8408/tyler-eifert) and Jermaine Gresham (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/5549/jermaine-gresham) a nice 1-2 punch.
Dalton (4,293 yards, 33 TD passes, 20 interceptions) is durable and productive. His TD passes total about 61 percent of the club’s touchdowns in the last three seasons (80-of-132). The Bengals’ offensive line is solid; Dalton was sacked 17 fewer times in 2013.
Weaknesses.
Too many of Cincinnati’s drives end in Dalton turnovers. He committed at least two turnovers in 7-of-16 regular season starts in 2013 and followed that with two picks and one fumble in the wild card loss. If Dalton cuts down on the giveaways, this could be an elite offense on its very best, given the talent on hand.
With Atkins and cornerback Leon Hall (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/4204/leon-hall) (Achilles) coming off serious injuries, the Bengals’ defensive depth is an area to watch. Moreover, the club is a little thinner at defensive end after Michael Johnson (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/5241/michael-johnson)’s departure in free agency.
Finally, the offense and defense will be adjusting to new coordinators. On defense, Paul Guenther replaces Mike Zimmer (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/8790/michael-zimmer), who became Minnesota’s head coach. On offense, Hue Jackson takes over for Jay Gruden, now Washington’s head coach. Both Guenther and Jackson have ample experience in Cincinnati, which could shorten the transitional period.
Changes.
The Bengals suffered a few losses in free agency, though that was to be expected. Johnson and offensive tackle Anthony Collins (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/4641/anthony-collins) received lucrative deals from Tampa Bay, which turned over its roster under new head coach Lovie Smith. The Bengals also lost slot receiver Andrew Hawkins (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/6505/andrew-hawkins) to Cleveland after declining to match an offer sheet.
The Bengals released a pair of 2013 starters, parting ways with strong-side linebacker James Harrison (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/665/james-harrison) and center Kyle Cook (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/4765/kyle-cook). Emmanuel Lamur (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/8194/emmanuel-lamur) could take over for Harrison, while veteran Mike Pollak (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/4817/mike-pollak) and rookie Russell Bodine (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/9582/russell-bodine)are among the competitors to replace Cook.
At the backup spots, the biggest move came with the addition of quarterbackJason Campbell (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/3137/jason-campbell), who reunites with Jackson, his head coach in Oakland three years ago.
In the draft, the Bengals added several rookies who could contribute right off the bat, including tailback Jeremy Hill (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/9409/jeremy-hill), a second-round pick from LSU. The club’s first-round selection, cornerback Darqueze Dennard (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/9435/darqueze-dennard), joins a deep CB corps.
Camp battles.
With a strong roster, competition is a given. Here are the positions to monitor:
Running back: The Bengals are willing to play young skill-position players, so Hill figures to get a real shot getting plenty of work. Bernard will not lack for touches, so any work Hill earns could put the squeeze on veteran BenJarvus Green-Ellis (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/4989/benjarvus-greenellis), who’s slated to make $2.3 million this season.
Cornerback: Dennard and third-year pro Dre Kirkpatrick (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/7463/dre-kirkpatrick) are waiting in the wings behind Hall, Terence Newman (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/2708/terence-newman) and Adam Jones. Hall is trying to return from a second Achilles injury since 2011.
Linebacker: Lamur and Vincent Rey (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/6106/vincent-rey) are the players to watch. Can Vincent Rey push Rey Maualuga (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/5205/rey-maualuga) at middle linebacker?
Defensive end: With Johnson gone, there are more reps to be had oppositeCarlos Dunlap (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/5707/carlos-dunlap). Wallace Gilberry (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/5058/wallace-gilberry) (7.5 sacks in 2013) will get his share of work. Keep an eye on second-year pro Margus Hunt (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/8427/margus-hunt) and rookie Will Clarke (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/9597/will-clarke), two fresh faces at the position.
Center: Pollak, Bodine and Trevor Robinson (http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/7995/trevor-robinson) are the candidates to take over for Cook.
Prospects.
The Bengals have a challenging schedule. They draw the NFC South in non-conference play, which entails trips to powerful New Orleans and improved Tampa Bay and home games against respectable Atlanta and Carolina. The Bengals will also face each of the AFC’s first-place clubs from a season ago (Denver, Indianapolis, New England). Finally, the club also draws an early bye (Week Four), which means any later-season injury issues will challenge the team’s depth.
In a scheduling quirk, six of Cincinnati’s first nine games are at home, including three in a row from Oct. 26 through Nov. 6 (Baltimore, Jacksonville, Cleveland). However, the Bengals then take a three-game Southern road trip, facing New Orleans, Houston and Tampa Bay in succession.
Nevertheless, the Bengals appear equipped to handle such regular season challenges. In fact, a hurdle-laden schedule could be just what’s needed to keep Cincinnati sharp as it goes for its fourth playoff berth in a row.
The Bengals are beyond the thrill of simply getting to the postseason. Winning in January is what they seek. Their last playoff win was at Riverfront Stadium, back before Nirvana’s “Nevermind” had even been released.
It’s been too long between playoff successes for Cincinnati, but so it goes in the NFL, which has no best-of-seven tournaments. The league does, however, have quite the tough 12-team, one-and-done bracket, as the Bengals know too well.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/07/18/preseason-power-rankings-no-9-cincinnati-bengals/

mongo
07-18-2014, 07:24 PM
I read the comments after the #9 ranking on PFT. It's amazing how many people still think we're this below average team that's half a step away from the LeBeau era.

...It also stuns me no one outside of our message board group mentions Gruden in any of the offensive struggles against 3-4/playoff/big game critiques. With Gruden not having any idea how to attack 3-4 defenses, it's a little rough to expect any of his players to have magically acquired those skills.

Bengals1181
07-18-2014, 08:01 PM
I read the comments after the #9 ranking on PFT. It's amazing how many people still think we're this below average team that's half a step away from the LeBeau era.

...It also stuns me no one outside of our message board group mentions Gruden in any of the offensive struggles against 3-4/playoff/big game critiques. With Gruden not having any idea how to attack 3-4 defenses, it's a little rough to expect any of his players to have magically acquired those skills.

I imagine most outsiders, and even your average Bengals fan, don't know about that quote and the stats associated with facing 3-4 defenses.

mongo
07-19-2014, 08:39 AM
Well they should, damnit... GET ON IT!!! :p

Bengals1181
07-19-2014, 08:50 AM
video in the link


Cincinnati Bengals NFL Betting Futures Update

Thursday, July 17, 2014 1:05 PM ETAt this time last season I recommended the Bengals as +190 co-favorites to win the AFC North and they delivered that win. However in 2014, will they have any value in the NFL Odds? They are once again co-favorites to win the division in 2014.

Super Bowl (+4000)
I small stints last season it seemed as if the Bengals were poised to be the NFL’s next great young team. Andy Dalton looked like a guy starting to grow again and the defense was fierce. However, even though they won their division and cashed in as picks for NFL Bettors, (http://www.sportsbookreview.com/nfl-football/) they did not go far in the playoffs. The Chargers came into town and knocked them out, and afterwards the team somewhat dissipated. Both Mike Zimmer and Jay Gruden got head coaching jobs, and while you can’t pin all of the successes of the Bengals on those two guys, I could see things taking a step back. Cincinnati now turns to Hue Jackson and Paul Guenther to head the offense and defense respectfully. Jackson is likely going to run the ball and chuck it deep all game. While I think it may work for a while, I don’t think Cincinnati is going to thrive under these circumstances, or offer us many chances at great betting picks. (http://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/) Dalton is not a great quarterback, and I believe the only reason he looked like a real quarterback at times last season was because of Gruden calling plays.

AFC (+1600)
Not only did Cincinnati lose their two signal callers, but they lost some key players on both sides of the ball as well. Anthony Collins was the Bengals’ best offensive tackle, however he has joined up with Lovie Smith in Tampa. Andrew Hawkins also left, but the Bengals are still pretty deep at WR. However, the biggest loss was definitely DE, Michael Johnson, who also left town for Tampa. If the Bengals were an out in the wildcard round last season, I see no reason to believe they could win a playoff game with less of a team. I might even go as far to say that the Bengals might not even make the playoffs next season. Their NFL betting odds should still be good, (http://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/nfl-football/) but they are not winning 11 games in 2014.

AFC North (+200)
The Bengals are co-favorites once again from Bovada Sportsbook, however this season they are favored alongside the Steelers instead of the Ravens. Cincinnati’s 11 wins last season might have been a fluke, and with Pittsburgh improved a lot, I could see some regression from the young Bengals. They were only 3-3 SU versus the AFC North (http://www.sportsbookreview.com/nfl-football/free-picks/nfl-picks-afc-north-power-rankings-a-39705/) last season, and I find no reason to believe that they will be any better than a .500 team against their division this year. Baltimore should also be slightly improved, and the Browns could be the wildcard in the entire division. No one is going to be easy to beat this season for the Bengals, however they do have the 23rd ranked schedule in thestrength of schedule (http://www.sportsbookreview.com/forum/players-talk/2867685-nfl-strength-schedule-2014-a.html) rankings. Either way it goes, I’m pretty high on the Steelers this season, and it would take a huge step up from Andy Dalton to compete with Pittsburgh or Baltimore this year.


http://www.sportsbookreview.com/nfl-football/news/cincinnati-bengals-nfl-betting-futures-update-a-48046/

mongo
07-19-2014, 08:55 AM
I've never understood any of the numbers related to sports betting, and I think I'm okay with that. :)

Bengals1181
07-22-2014, 02:56 PM
NFL Power Rankings: Checking in at Start of Training Camps

6. Cincinnati Bengals


http://img.bleacherreport.net/img/slides/photos/003/723/048/hi-res-b2acd187cbc882be69cc152cd04a2084_crop_north.jpg?w= 630&h=420&q=75
Andy Lyons/Getty Images



When Andy Dalton (http://bleacherreport.com/andy-dalton) is on, the Bengals can beat anybody.
When Andy Dalton is off, the Bengals can lose to anybody.
The deepest, youngest, most talented roster in the NFL just needs "Good Andy" to show up in the postseason for one year, and the Bengals could go all the way to the top.
In the meantime, having lost top-notch defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer to a head coaching position in Minnesota, the football world will be watching to see if former linebackers coach Paul Guenther, Zimmer's successor, can keep up the excellence and intensity.
One potential issue, the aging cornerbacks, could be patched over if first-round pick Darqueze Dennard steps in and excels like many think he can.
After that, it's just a matter of waiting for the postseason—and waiting to see if Dalton can finally handle the pressure.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2132710-nfl-power-rankings-start-of-training-camps-edition/page/28

Bengals1181
07-27-2014, 09:57 AM
Top 5 NFL Teams That Have The Best Chance At Winning This Year’s Super Bowl

By Alex Darcey
The 2014 NFL season has begun and with training camps full steam ahead, what better time to predict this year’s Super Bowl champions. Not many people would have predicted the Seahawks going all the way in 2013 but they surprised everyone by pouching the Broncos in one of the most lopsided Super Bowl victories in NFL history. This year the Hawks loss some key players to free agency and salary cap cuts so it will be very difficult for them to repeat, so here are five teams I believe have the best chance at hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy come February.

3. Cincinnati Bengals – An all around solid team, equipped with a good defense and have one of the best receivers in the game with AJ Green along with other high-powered offensive weapons like Andy Dalton and Giovani Bernard.





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1RIsChdRVc

Bengals1181
07-28-2014, 09:19 AM
Shutdown Countdown: Cincinnati Bengals try to get over playoff hump

By Frank Schwab (http://sports.yahoo.com/author/frank-schwab-20120907/)July 24, 2014 10:20 AMShutdown Corner (http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/)


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(Yahoo Sports)

Shutdown Corner is previewing all 32 teams as we get ready for the NFL season, counting down the teams one per day in reverse order or our initial 2014 power rankings. No. 1 will be revealed on Aug. 2, the day before the preseason begins with the Hall of Fame Game in Canton.The Cincinnati Bengals (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/cin/) are an interesting case study this year.
Teams lose coordinators all the time. It's very rare for a team to lose both coordinators, unless they've both been fired because they weren't very good. But Jay Gruden and Mike Zimmer (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/26982/) did so well for the Bengals, they earned head coaching jobs in Washington and Minnesota. That's great news for them, and a tough blow for Cincinnati.
It's not unprecedented, and the 2012 Falcons are a recent example to show it can work just fine. The Falcons replaced both coordinators before that season, went 13-3 and to the NFC championship game. But that doesn't mean it won't be hard.
Gruden turned Andy Dalton (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/24822/), everyone's favorite punching bag, into a quarterback who threw for 11,360 yards and 80 touchdowns in three years. Zimmer had been Cincinnati's defensive coordinator six years, and here are his defense's NFL ranking in yards allowed those years: 12th, 4th, 15th, 7th, 6th and 3rd. Think that's easy to replace?

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http://l1.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/t94zD36o8L5efyW_AoAlAw--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTMxMA--/http://media.zenfs.com/en_US/Sports/AP_NFL/201407231941708826361-p5.jpgHue Jackson and quarterback Andy Dalton (AP)

The Bengals wanted continuity, so they promoted Hue Jackson to run the offense and Paul Guenther to run the defense. Cincinnati doesn't want anything to mess with its run of success, though this run is becoming better known for its playoff failures.[Smack talk season is back at Yahoo Sports: Sign up and play free Fantasy Football! (https://bs.serving-sys.com/BurstingPipe/adServer.bs?cn=tf&c=20&mc=click&pli=10038813&PluID=0&ord=%5Bcachebuster%5D)]
Cincinnati has made the playoffs three years in a row, including a division title last year. Only the Packers and Patriots have a longer active playoff streak. And the number associated with the Bengals' streak is zero, the amount of playoff wins to come from it. Last season's loss to the Chargers at home, as the biggest favorite on wild-card weekend, was particularly disheartening. Marvin Lewis, in 11 Bengals seasons, is 0-5 in the playoffs. The playoff losses are why Dalton, despite being wildly productive through his first three years, is a punchline.
At least the Bengals bring back a lot of talent on both sides of the ball that helped them to the three straight playoff berths. However, it's also the same core that hasn't been able to experience any postseason success.
2013 review in less than 25 words: From the end of September on, the Bengals lost three regular-season games, and two were in overtime. Cincinnati won the division at 11-5.

Is the roster better, worse or about the same?: The coordinators weren't all the Bengals lost in the offseason. The Bengals said goodbye to free agents like defensive end Michael Johnson, tackle Anthony Collins and receiver Andrew Hawkins. Those losses might not be crippling, but Cincinnati added nobody of note in free agency. Considering the Bengals lost some good players and didn't add one projected starter all offseason, the roster is worse.

Best offseason acquisition: There wasn't one free agent worth noting, unless backup quarterback Jason Campbell excites you. So we turn to the draft. Running back Jeremy Hill (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/27583/) wasn't the Bengals' first draft pick (that was cornerback Darqueze Dennard), but he'll have a big impact right away. The team is phasing out BenJarvus Green-Ellis for Hill, who went in the second round despite a long list of off-field issues. He has legitimate talent and will be the power back to go withGiovani Bernard (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/26660/). With Jackson expected to focus his offense more on the run game, Hill will be valuable.

Achilles heel: The Bengals' secondary has some good players, but age might be a concern. Cornerback Leon Hall is 29 and coming off his second Achilles injury. Terence Newman will turn 36 before opening day. Adam Jones will turn 31 during the season. Safety Reggie Nelson will also turn 31. These veterans have done well for the Bengals, but it's not great to be so old in the secondary. The team really needs 2012 first-round pick Dre Kirkpatrick to turn it on, but he hasn't shown any signs of that yet. Dennard could give the secondary some young legs, too.

Position in flux: One of Jackson's projects will be to figure out how to use his two tight ends. Tyler Eifert (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/26644/) had some good moments as a rookie, but as a first-round pick the Bengals probably want a little more impact than his 11.4-yard average and two touchdowns. Sharing the field with Eifert, Jermaine Gresham's numbers were cut significantly, and he had just 458 yards last season. The Bengals could use an athletic tight end like Eifert in many ways, and it will be worth watching to see how Jackson pulls that off.



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http://l3.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/jDbS.JV_rBDKtTQh2s522g--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTMxMA--/http://media.zenfs.com/en_us/News/gettyimages.com/baltimore-ravens-v-cincinnati-bengals-20131229-194154-402.jpgGiovani Bernard (Getty Images)

Ready to break out: Bernard, who is 5-9 and 208 pounds, might fight the stereotype that he can't be a workhorse back for a while, likeJamaal Charles (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/8850/) of the Chiefs did. But like Charles, Bernard is electric with the ball. Bernard had 695 yards rushing and 514 yards receiving as a rookie last year, and was strong in every part of the game. Jackson likes to run the ball, and if Bernard can prove early on that he can handle closer to 300 carries this season (he had 170 last year despite clearly being Cincinnati's best back), then Bernard will enter the top tier of NFL backs this season. Stat fact: The only quarterbacks in NFL history to have more yards or passing touchdowns through their first three seasons than Dalton are Peyton Manning and Dan Marino, two of the all-time greats. Dalton's problem is he is inconsistent, looking fantastic last October as he earned AFC offensive player of the month, then having a 55.9 rating in November. And, of course, he has been bad in the playoffs. That skews the perception of him, fairly or not. Dalton has improved in just about every area each season except interceptions, which have gone from 13 to 16 to 20 in his three seasons. That trend better change this year.

Schedule degree of difficulty: As we touched on in the Steelers preview (http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--pittsburgh-steelers-ready-to-build-off-strong-finish-154345098.html), the Bengals got a tough first-place schedule. While the Steelers play the Jets and Chiefs, the Bengals get the Patriots and Broncos. They both play the Colts: The Steelers host Andrew Luck and Co. while the Bengals have to go to Indianapolis. The Steelers get the dome-loving Saints in Pittsburgh on Nov. 30; the Bengals have to go to the Superdome. Throw in games against a deep NFC South, and getting 11 wins again won't be easy.

Burning question

This team’s best-case scenario for the 2014 season: There are some questions coming into the year, but this is a talented team that gets superstar defensive tackle Geno Atkins back from a torn ACL. He'll join Vontaze Burfict, one of the league's best linebackers. On offense, A.J. Green is a top-five receiver, Bernard is a big-play back, Marvin Jones, Hill and Eifert can be great secondary pieces. There's more than enough top-end talent for the Bengals to repeat as division champs, and maybe even (gasp!) win a playoff game.

And here’s the nightmare scenario: It's tempting to say the nightmare is to go back to the playoffs and lose in the first round again. The Bengals are probably sick of hearing about it by now. But, a playoff berth can't be guaranteed even with this talented team. The schedule is really tough, having new coordinators on each side isn't easy, and a couple close losses here or there could knock them back to a wild-card fight with the AFC's middle class.

The crystal ball says: I like the Bengals just a little more than the Steelers, but like the Steelers' schedule way, way more. I don't think the Bengals will win the division, but they will get a wild-card spot. Big deal, the Bengals have been there before. Can they get a win? There's no reason to believe they can't, as long as this isn't a major mental block for the players and staff. But even if they can finally advance, I don't see them beating the Broncos or Patriots after that.
Previous previews:
32. Jacksonville Jaguars
(https://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--jacksonville-jaguars-still-have-a-long-way-to-go-145912449.html)31. Oakland Raiders (http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--oakland-raiders-have-a-bunch-of-new-faces-for-turnaround-231843596.html)
30. Washington Redskins
(https://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--washington-redskins-hope-to-erase-2013-memories-182205585.html)29. Cleveland Browns
(http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--cleveland-browns-starting-to-have-hope--including-johnny-202007847.html)28. Minnesota Vikings
(http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--vikings-getting-better--but-will-it-be-too-late-for-adrian-peterson-182454158.html)27. Buffalo Bills
(http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--buffalo-bills-desperate-to-end-playoff-drought-161416210.html)26. Tennessee Titans (http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--tennessee-titans--top-priority-is-jake-locker-s-health-230655442.html)
(http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--tennessee-titans--top-priority-is-jake-locker-s-health-230655442.html)25. Houston Texans
(http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--can-the-houston-texans-return-to-respectability--211311985.html)24. Dallas Cowboys
(http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--how-bad-might-it-get-for-the-dallas-cowboys-165512732.html)23. New York Jets
(http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--jets-hope-revamped-offense-leads-to-playoffs-232340880.html)22. Atlanta Falcons
(http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--atlanta-falcons-get-tougher-on-both-lines-161132762.html)21. New York Giants
(http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--active-new-york-giants-want-to-bounce-back-155720530.html)20. Miami Dolphins
(http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--miami-dolphins-hoping-for-quieter-season-this-year-152421135.html)19. Kansas City Chiefs
(http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--kansas-city-chiefs-will-be-challenged-to-repeat-2013-162044591.html)18. Baltimore Ravens
(http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--the-ravens--rebound-is-all-about-the-offense-154606486.html)17. Detroit Lions
(http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--will-detroit-lions--talent-produce-success--174015360.html)16. San Diego Chargers
(http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--san-diego-chargers-go-for-another-playoff-berth-181203208.html)15. Arizona Cardinals (http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--arizona-cardinals-----good-team--wrong-division-193319523.html)
(http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--san-diego-chargers-go-for-another-playoff-berth-181203208.html)14. St. Louis Rams
(http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--st--louis-rams-still-one--important--piece-away-170529379.html)13. Carolina Panthers
(http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--carolina-panthers-become-the-hunted-in-the-nfc-south-170021989.html)12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--your-surprise-team-this-season--the-tampa-bay-buccaneers-153708783.html)11. Pittsburgh Steelers (http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--pittsburgh-steelers-ready-to-build-off-strong-finish-154345098.html)

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--cincinnati-bengals-try-to-get-over-playoff-hump-142059043.html (http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--cincinnati-bengals-try-to-get-over-playoff-hump-142059043.html)

Bengals1181
07-28-2014, 01:49 PM
@pauldehnerjr (https://twitter.com/pauldehnerjr) Updated win total o/u from @BovadaLV (https://twitter.com/BovadaLV) has #Bengals (https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bengals?src=hash) at 9, Ravens &Steelers are 8 1/2.

Bengals1181
07-28-2014, 05:15 PM
NFL Power Rankings 2014: Early Preseason Outlook Before Hall of Fame Game

7. Cincinnati Bengals
It all hinges on a single man in the Queen City.
Going into his fourth season with a new contract in mind, TCU product Andy Dalton (http://bleacherreport.com/andy-dalton) may have the reigns of the offense ripped from him thanks to a new offensive coordinator in Hue Jackson and a stable of backs highlighted by Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill.
Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com (http://www.bengals.com/news/article-1/Hobsons-Choice-Taylor-made-roster/65f7da74-b6ae-4e83-b38d-ddc41e5115eb) senses the shift about to get underway in Cincinnati:
New offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is committed to changing it and I think he’s also committed to taking the load off Andy Dalton. A big adjustment that has to make is cutting his pass attempts from 586 to closer to Russell Wilson’s number of 407.
To heck with the short stuff. The running game should open up the deep ball and with Jackson’s experience under Al Davis (http://bleacherreport.com/al-davis) you can believe they’ll be running many more vertical routes.

Backed by an elite defense, even without Mike Zimmer, it might just work.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2143836-nfl-power-rankings-2014-early-preseason-outlook-before-hall-of-fame-game?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=programming

Baraka
07-28-2014, 09:51 PM
Reading this thread got me thinking. What kind of odds do you think I could get that Jeremy Hill leads the team in rushing yards?

Bengals1181
07-28-2014, 10:51 PM
Reading this thread got me thinking. What kind of odds do you think I could get that Jeremy Hill leads the team in rushing yards?

Decent. They'll likely get near the same amount of carries.

Bengals1181
07-28-2014, 11:21 PM
http://static.nfl.com/static/content/public/video/2014/07/28/0ap2000000370818_video_rhr_210.jpg
(http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-network-total-access/0ap2000000370818/Who-will-win-the-AFC-North)Who will win the AFC North? (http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-network-total-access/0ap2000000370818/Who-will-win-the-AFC-North)

Bengals1181
07-29-2014, 08:05 PM
AFC North: The NFL's most unpredictable division race in 2014



http://static.nfl.com/static/content/public/photo/2012/08/23/0ap1000000053195.jpg
By Adam Schein
NFL Media columnist
Published: July 29, 2014 at 01:04 p.m.
Updated: July 29, 2014 at 03:02 p.m.





Every year, there's one division that wreaks havoc on preseason predictions.

Early in the offseason, I wrote about the topsy-turvy appearance of the NFC South (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000334983/article/nfc-south-emerges-as-nfls-most-entertaining-division-in-2014). While that division still has the potential to offer quite a battle in 2014, the New Orleans Saints (http://www.nfl.com/teams/neworleanssaints/profile?team=NO) have emerged as the clear-cut team to beat as offseason roster reconstructions have played out over the past few months.







The division that really has me pulling my hair out right now? The AFC North.

There are reasons for hope in every AFC North training camp. There are also causes for concern at every location. With each team, you can make an intelligent case as to why 2014 is the year for a run ... or the year the bottom falls out.

With that in mind, allow me to provide best-case/worst-case scenarios for all four AFC North teams. And what kind of columnist would I be if I didn't offer up fearless predictions, as well?

Baltimore Ravens

Best-case scenario: The Ravens (http://www.nfl.com/teams/baltimoreravens/profile?team=BAL) bounce back and win the AFC North. Joe Flacco (http://www.nfl.com/player/joeflacco/382/profile) returns to form with a healthy season from Dennis Pitta (http://www.nfl.com/player/dennispitta/497254/profile) and the welcome presence of Steve Smith (http://www.nfl.com/player/stevesmith/2504595/profile), a savvy offseason acquisition who gives Baltimore a big boost on the field and in the locker room. Coordinator Gary Kubiak (http://www.nfl.com/player/garykubiak/2518873/profile), another new face, maximizes the team's offensive arsenal as a play caller. Torrey Smith (http://www.nfl.com/player/torreysmith/2495459/profile) takes another step forward as a big-time receiver. Bernard Pierce (http://www.nfl.com/player/bernardpierce/2533545/profile), Ray Rice (http://www.nfl.com/player/rayrice/941/profile) and the offensive line rebound from last season, when they churned out a league-low 3.1 yards per carry (http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?tabSeq=2&season=2013&seasonType=REG&offensiveStatisticCategory=RUSHING&role=TM&d-447263-n=1&d-447263-o=2&d-447263-p=1&conference=ALL&d-447263-s=RUSHING_AVERAGE_YARDS). Defensively, Haloti Ngata (http://www.nfl.com/player/halotingata/2506879/profile),Terrell Suggs (http://www.nfl.com/player/terrellsuggs/2505660/profile) and Co. fly around and make plays, spearheading the prideful unit's revival. Safety Matt Elam (http://www.nfl.com/player/mattelam/2540153/profile) becomes great in his second year, while rookie linebacker C.J. Mosley (http://www.nfl.com/player/c.j.mosley/2543464/profile) makes an instant splash.



Worst-case scenario: The offensive line never jells and Flacco is affected. Flacco's magical run in the 2012 postseason -- 11 touchdown passes, zero interceptions -- looks more and more like a fluke. Rice, who will miss the first two games of the season due to a domestic-violence suspension (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000367971/article/ravens-ray-rice-suspended-two-games-by-nfl), continues the decline that began last fall. The defense never becomes dominant, leaving Ravens (http://www.nfl.com/teams/baltimoreravens/profile?team=BAL) fans to long for the halcyon days of Ed Reed (http://www.nfl.com/player/edreed/2505221/profile) and Ray Lewis.
Prediction: Baltimore is a playoff team. Despite having just missed the postseason for the first time in his six years at the helm, John Harbaugh (http://www.nfl.com/player/johnharbaugh/2515791/profile) is an excellent coach. In fact, I see Harbaugh winning his third division championship. Flacco isn't feeling the heat like last year -- when he signed a nine-figure contract (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000146725/article/joe-flaccos-ravens-contract-includes-52m-guaranteed), fresh off a Super Bowl (http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/48) triumph -- and should enjoy a solid campaign. I believe in this organization; it's fantastic, top to bottom. This defense should not only be better than last year's unit, but better than the group from two years ago that raised the Lombardi Trophy.

Cincinnati Bengals

Best-case scenario: Cincinnati, the most talented team in the division, truly emerges as a Super Bowl (http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/48)contender. The defense does it all, as Vontaze Burfict (http://www.nfl.com/player/vontazeburfict/2533058/profile) blossoms into an even bigger star and the pass rush continues to terrorize opposing quarterbacks. Offensively, A.J. Green (http://www.nfl.com/player/a.j.green/2495450/profile) further proves himself as a top-five receiver by routinely exhibiting his game-breaking skills. And the depth around Green -- at receiver and tight end -- overwhelms the opposition. Giovani Bernard (http://www.nfl.com/player/giovanibernard/2540156/profile), BenJarvus Green-Ellis (http://www.nfl.com/player/benjarvusgreen-ellis/929/profile) and rookie Jeremy Hill (http://www.nfl.com/player/jeremyhill/2543603/profile) form a three-headed monster in the backfield. And most crucially, Andy Dalton (http://www.nfl.com/player/andydalton/2495143/profile)develops consistency, with offensive coordinator Hue Jackson (http://www.nfl.com/player/huejackson/2517259/profile) aiding his growth.



Worst-case scenario: The Bengals (http://www.nfl.com/teams/cincinnatibengals/profile?team=CIN) dearly miss former coordinators Mike Zimmer (http://www.nfl.com/player/mikezimmer/2541769/profile) and Jay Gruden (http://www.nfl.com/player/jaygruden/2539437/profile). The defense in particular takes a step back sans Zimmer, who was incredible at getting the pieces to overachieve. Geno Atkins (http://www.nfl.com/player/genoatkins/496762/profile), one of the most invaluable defensive players in the league, struggles to recover from last October's season-ending knee injury (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000274467/article/bengals-geno-atkins-out-for-the-season-with-torn-acl). And most crucially, Dalton shows again that he's incapable of being elite and winning big games.
Prediction: Frankly, I believe just about everything mentioned above to some extent. But given Dalton and Marvin Lewis (http://www.nfl.com/player/marvinlewis/2519463/profile)' spotty track record in big moments, I don't see Cincy taking the next step and becoming a Super Bowl (http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/48) team -- or even a true Super Bowl (http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/48)contender, for that matter. I think this team is too talented to flop, but I envision the Bengals (http://www.nfl.com/teams/cincinnatibengals/profile?team=CIN) winning nine or 10 games and finishing behind the Ravens (http://www.nfl.com/teams/baltimoreravens/profile?team=BAL) in the division race.

Cleveland Browns

Best-case scenario: The Cleveland defense becomes elite. (In a recent column (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000359243/article/cleveland-browns-will-be-fueled-by-defense-not-johnny-manziel), I laid out why this is about to be the case, thanks to an incredible mix of young talent and great coaching.) On the other side of the ball, new running backs Ben Tate (http://www.nfl.com/player/bentate/497208/profile) and Terrance West (http://www.nfl.com/player/terrancewest/2543664/profile) pound the football. Following his Aug. 1 appeal (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000367940/article/josh-gordons-appeals-hearing-set-for-aug-1), Josh Gordon (http://www.nfl.com/player/joshgordon/2537931/profile)'s suspension isn't as long as many anticipate, allowing the All-Pro receiver to make an impact in the back half of the season. Johnny Manziel (http://www.nfl.com/player/johnnymanziel/2543462/profile) lights a spark under center, energizing the entire team. Head coach Mike Pettine and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan provide a level of coaching Clevelanders haven't seen in quite some time.



Worst-case scenario: Manziel can't stay focused off the field and plays poorly on it. (Yes, everybody loves Brian Hoyer (http://www.nfl.com/player/brianhoyer/81294/profile). He's a fan and media darling. He bleeds Northeast Ohio. He's a reliable, smart backup. The problem with Brian Hoyer (http://www.nfl.com/player/brianhoyer/81294/profile) as a starter is that he's Brian Hoyer (http://www.nfl.com/player/brianhoyer/81294/profile). He's a backup-caliber QB, yet at the moment, all signs point to himstarting the season atop the depth chart (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000370172/article/fifteen-things-we-learned-sunday-in-training-camp).) Gordon is suspended for the entire season. Tate, who's had some trouble staying on the field as an NFL back, gets hurt and is a free-agent bust.
Prediction: I'm higher on the Browns (http://www.nfl.com/teams/clevelandbrowns/profile?team=CLE) than most, though I reserve the right to change my forecast after the Gordon ruling. If Gordon logs a reasonable amount of time this year, I stand by my April 1 prediction (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000338637/article/teddy-bridgewater-slides-gus-bradley-rises-and-more-bold-calls) that Cleveland finishes ahead of Pittsburgh. If Gordon is banished for the entire season, Cleveland finishes last.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Best-case scenario: Ben Roethlisberger (http://www.nfl.com/player/benroethlisberger/2506109/profile) and Mike Tomlin (http://www.nfl.com/player/miketomlin/2527518/profile) remain a fantastic quarterback/coach combo. Le'Veon Bell (http://www.nfl.com/player/le'veonbell/2540175/profile) shines in Year 2, becoming the dominant back Steelers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/pittsburghsteelers/profile?team=PIT) fans are historically accustomed to seeing. David DeCastro (http://www.nfl.com/player/daviddecastro/2533043/profile) and his offensive linemates come together under new O-line coach Mike Munchak (http://www.nfl.com/player/mikemunchak/2521811/profile) (a fabulous offseason hire). Ryan Shazier (http://www.nfl.com/player/ryanshazier/2543486/profile) lives up to the hype and sizzles in his rookie year at linebacker. Free-agent acquisition Mike Mitchell (http://www.nfl.com/player/mikemitchell/238227/profile) proves to be a major upgrade at safety.


Worst-case scenario: The defense remains ineffective, as a lack of fresh talent is exposed -- again. The offensive line fizzles. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley (http://www.nfl.com/player/toddhaley/2515611/profile) and Big Ben (http://www.nfl.com/player/benroethlisberger/2506109/profile), two headstrong personalities, clash in a major way. The other teams are simply better.
Prediction: This is subject to the Gordon ruling, but I can see Pittsburgh bottoming out this year. I just don't think they are that good. The great Roethlisberger/Tomlin duo will mask areas of deficiency half the time, allowing Pittsburgh to win seven or eight games.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000370987/article/afc-north-the-nfls-most-unpredictable-division-race-in-2014

Bengals1181
07-30-2014, 08:41 AM
AFC North a 3-way slugfest with Bengals, Steelers and RavensJuly 29, 2014 3:01 AM by Bob Christ (http://www.gamingtoday.com/columnist/bio/5100)

http://www.gamingtoday.com/img/userfiles/image/facebook/Ravens_Ray_Rice_2014_200x.jpg(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the third of eight NFL division previews. Next week, the NFC North)
The AFC North’s record-tying five-year stretch of supplying at least one wild-card team to the postseason tournament ended last year when only first-place Cincinnati received a playoff invite.
Pittsburgh and defending champion Baltimore languished three games behind at .500, while cellar-dwelling Cleveland was out of sight and mind for a third straight season.
In fact, the cumulative mark of 31-33 was their worst the past 10 seasons.
This year, based on odds provided by the LVH SuperBook, the division figures to be a three-way slugfest between Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Baltimore. The Bengals are the slight favorite at 8/5.
Two of these top-tier teams, however, will have a scheduling disadvantage (Cincinnati, Baltimore), which might be just enough to enable the Steelers to regain their footing atop the loop, which they won five times from 2002-10.
Here’s how this year’s race figures to shape up, with teams listed in order of predicted finish:
Pittsburgh (9/4 division; 25/1 Super Bowl): The Steelers came on like gangbusters last year after a 0-4 start to finish 8-8 and almost earn the final wild-card berth.
Helping to trigger the resurgence was that the Steelers’ offense began to operate on short fields. Through their first five games, only once did Pittsburgh start a drive in enemy territory. Over its 6-2 close to the season, Pittsburgh had 20 short fields – all coming in its victories.
Boosting the Steelers’ hopes is that all five members of the offensive line have returned in front of QB Ben Roethlisberger and they have added powerhouse RB LeGarrette Blount, who had games of 189 yards in Week 17 and 166 in the postseason for New England.
Defensively, it’s a young, promising group that could benefit from the fact the Steelers won’t face a top-10 offense from last season until Week 13.
Note: Schedule-wise, the Steelers are catching a break in that they’ll have the fewest air miles of any team. Plus, in the final five weeks of the season, three times they’ll face a team that’s on a short week after playing Monday night.
Cincinnati (8/5; 18/1): The Bengals might have the most talent in the division, especially with the return of All-Pro DT Geno Atkins from a knee injury.
Skeptics have piled on because of the weak play of QB Andy Dalton the past three postseasons. Dalton steered the Bengals off a cliff in one-and-done fashion with a total of one TD throw and six INTs.
Before the postseason all seemed well with the 2013 Bengals, who were one of three teams to have a perfect home regular-season record (also 8-0 ATS). At the end came a dreary 27-10 WC-round loss in Cincinnati to San Diego that extended the Bengals’ playoff victory drought to 23 seasons, the longest current streak in the league.
Making matters troublesome for Cincy is its first-place schedule. It is stuck facing Denver and New England. No division rival has to face either team.
Note: Cincinnati’s defense has the capability of carrying the club. Last year, four enemy QBs had their worst passer-rating day of the season against the Bengals, including Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.
Baltimore (9/4, 25/1): In 2013, the Ravens returned to earth without a parachute a year after a Super Bowl run highlighted by QB Joe Flacco’s 11 postseason TD throws with no INTs.
Then came last year, with Flacco throwing a franchise-record 22 INTs and former running standout Ray Rice averaging only 3.1 yards a rush, the worst for any RB in the top 45 in ground gaining.
On top of that, the tough-guy RB will be serving a two-game suspension to open the season, which happen to be home games against Baltimore’s top division rivals – Week 1 vs. Cincinnati and four days later vs. Pittsburgh.
At least new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak will have the benefit of working with newly acquired WR Steve Smith and TE Owen Daniels.
Note: If the Ravens can remain in playoff contention entering mid-December, the schedule gets favorable with games against Jacksonville, Houston and Cleveland in Weeks 15-17. That group went a combined 10-38 last year, and only the Texans figure to show much improvement.
Cleveland (6/1; 60/1): How seriously can the Browns be taken if the QB duel is between veteran clipboard holder Brian Hoyer, off knee surgery, against rookie Johnny Manziel, whose work ethic has been questioned.
Vegas visitors might have even seen Johnny Football carousing in their hotel pool earlier this season after he was selected in the first round of the draft.
Outside of the team’s 10-6 mark in 2007, Cleveland has lost at least 10 games each season since 2003. There’s a lot of decay to scrape away for first-time coach Mike Pettine, who was Buffalo’s DC the past four seasons.
If he somehow leads the Browns to the NFL title it wouldn’t be the first time a coach in Cleveland took over a losing team and won the crown.
Adam Walsh did so in 1945 with the Cleveland Rams, the only time in league history a coach directed such a speedy turnaround.
Note: The Browns’ best player last year, WR Josh Gordon, had a league-high 1,646 yards. But he could be facing a lengthy suspension for another violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy.
“Popular” Bob Christ has been forecasting NFL games for more than 30 years. His work has appeared in newspapers from coast to coast in Canada and the U.S. Contact him at BobChrist@GamingToday.com

http://www.gamingtoday.com/articles/article/48387-AFC_North_a_3_way_slugfest_with_Bengals_Steelers_a nd_Ravens#.U9jjTONdWSo

Bengals1181
08-03-2014, 08:17 PM
Shutdown Corner NFL Power Rankings: Pre-preseason edition

10. Cincinnati Bengals
(http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-countdown--cincinnati-bengals-try-to-get-over-playoff-hump-142059043.html)Andy Dalton could throw for 6,000 yards and it won't matter to everyone if he doesn't win a playoff game.


http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-corner-nfl-power-rankings--pre-preseason-edition-152511587.html

Bengals1181
08-09-2014, 09:02 AM
Team by team: The likely win range for each NFL team in 2014

AFC NORTH
Baltimore Ravens – If it weren’t for their history, where every season in the John Harbaugh era other than last year finished with a playoff berth, there’d be no reason to believe it was going to be a good season in Baltimore. They had more defections than additions during the offseason, while the Ray Rice situation has left a stain on the organization that will take some time to go away. It just feels like a down year in Baltimore, except for the fact that Harbaugh always finds a way to field a winner.
Projected win range: 7-9
Cincinnati Bengals – There are always a few teams who go from worst to first in the NFL, rebounds that get a lot of attention. That also means, however, that there are organizations who have the opposite kind of season, regressing from a team on the cusp to an also-ran, stories that tend to get ignored. This year, it’s beginning to feel a lot like the Bengals will be in the second group. They did little to improve during the offseason, providing a sense that they had their shot the past couple of years and blew it.
Projected win range: 6-8
Cleveland Browns – There is a ton of talent on the Browns roster, something that makes them an enticing dark-horse pick. But the quarterback situation is a little worrisome. Frankly, they’d be fine with either Brian Hoyer (who went 3-0 last year as the starter) or Johnny Manziel (who will be a fun player to watch); figuring out how to prevent the battle for the starting job from becoming a circus that derails the season is the key. If Mike Pettine can do that, the Browns could surprise some people.
Projected win range: 7-9
Pittsburgh Steelers – On offense, the Steelers have a two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, one of the league’s best young receivers and an upstart running back. And on the other side of the ball, they have what Pittsburgh always seems to have – a solid defense. So this just feels like the year in which they right the ship in the Steel City, getting back to the playoffs after a two-year absence. It’s hard to bet against head coach Mike Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Projected win range: 9-11.
http://cover32.com/2014/08/08/team-by-team-the-likely-win-range-for-each-nfl-team-in-2014/2/

JBandJoeyV
08-09-2014, 11:13 AM
Team by team: The likely win range for each NFL team in 2014 AFC NORTH Baltimore Ravens – If it weren’t for their history, where every season in the John Harbaugh era other than last year finished with a playoff berth, there’d be no reason to believe it was going to be a good season in Baltimore. They had more defections than additions during the offseason, while the Ray Rice situation has left a stain on the organization that will take some time to go away. It just feels like a down year in Baltimore, except for the fact that Harbaugh always finds a way to field a winner. Projected win range: 7-9 Cincinnati Bengals – There are always a few teams who go from worst to first in the NFL, rebounds that get a lot of attention. That also means, however, that there are organizations who have the opposite kind of season, regressing from a team on the cusp to an also-ran, stories that tend to get ignored. This year, it’s beginning to feel a lot like the Bengals will be in the second group. They did little to improve during the offseason, providing a sense that they had their shot the past couple of years and blew it. Projected win range: 6-8 Cleveland Browns – There is a ton of talent on the Browns roster, something that makes them an enticing dark-horse pick. But the quarterback situation is a little worrisome. Frankly, they’d be fine with either Brian Hoyer (who went 3-0 last year as the starter) or Johnny Manziel (who will be a fun player to watch); figuring out how to prevent the battle for the starting job from becoming a circus that derails the season is the key. If Mike Pettine can do that, the Browns could surprise some people. Projected win range: 7-9 Pittsburgh Steelers – On offense, the Steelers have a two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, one of the league’s best young receivers and an upstart running back. And on the other side of the ball, they have what Pittsburgh always seems to have – a solid defense. So this just feels like the year in which they right the ship in the Steel City, getting back to the playoffs after a two-year absence. It’s hard to bet against head coach Mike Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Projected win range: 9-11. http://cover32.com/2014/08/08/team-by-team-the-likely-win-range-for-each-nfl-team-in-2014/2/

Has this guy paid any attention to anything?

mongo
08-09-2014, 11:19 AM
Anything's possible, but that doesn't mean that guy has a leg to stand on with that fully-baked argument.

Bengals1181
08-09-2014, 01:03 PM
Has this guy paid any attention to anything?


probably not. I don't generally post their stuff, but I knew this one would get people talking, lol.

Bengals1181
08-09-2014, 01:04 PM
I could understand being down on the Bengals, a little, but to have them be possibly at the bottom of the division?