Latest posts by Redshirt (see all)
- Your 2018 Bengals Preview: Re-Defining Insanity – One Year At a Time – August 7, 2018
- Bengals Bye Week – God’s Merciful Reprieve – October 17, 2017
- 2017 Cincinnati Bengals Preview – Fool’s Golden Anniversary Edition – August 14, 2017
Last time we saw the Cincinnati Bengals, they were finishing a disappointing season strong by defeating the Baltimore Ravens, letting fellow down-on-their-luck franchise Buffalo Bills back into the playoffs after an absence of just under two decades. After receiving the joys and adulations of a grateful Buffalo Bills team and their loyal fanbase, the Cincinnati Bengals and their fans started the offseason by contemplating a memorable 50th Anniversary Season of ups, downs and lessons learned:
Yep, no easy way to say it. The Bengals were exactly who we thought they were, but with all respect to the late, great(-ish) Coach Green, the fans did not let them off the hook. As was predicted on this website by a certain morally questionable, functionally insane contributor, any chance of success the 2017 Bengals would rely on their offensive line. Well, we got our answer really fast. While the defense was as dependable as always, the offense sputtered at times in the start, but their eventually found enough footing to get back to near .500, and then they decided that 111⁄2 games of alf-hassed effort was good enough and decided to take the next 21⁄2 games off.
Though they did decided to show back up for work for the last two games, at this point a feeling of apathy has developed in the fans. Low attendance to start the season and it kept going lower. While a healthy dose of apathy is always a vital ingredient in the healthy Bengals fan, this was something new. The fans were just too tired of the Bengals’ shit. In the shock of the century, Mike Brown didn’t make things better when he said in his Season Opening Mock Turtle Soup Dinner (honest to God, that’s a real thing), that the Bengals showed by beating the Lions and Ravens, they are close to returning to where they used to be two years ago and he trusts the fans will return to selling out the stadium once they get back there.
So to reiterate, the owner of the Cincinnati Bengals say the team goal is to return to 9-7 to 11-5 with first round loss in the Playoffs and they expect the fans will be happy with that.
So, on to the 2018 season!
QB: Andy Dalton returns for another season. Like last year (and as always), he won’t win the game for you, but if you give him time, he give the ball to the guy that will win it for you. Unfortunately, the four-time Most Popular Bengal award-winner by fan vote AJ McCarron has left town and has been replaced by Matt Barkley. He’s not the backup we want, but he’s the backup we deserve.
RB: Reports from Training Camp says Joe Mixon has lost weight and is faster than last year. That should help in the later rounds, er I meant games later in the year. Giovani Bernard is still there but for how long is anybody’s guess. Now I know you’ll say “Only an idiot will let Bernard walk!”, but please remember which franchise’s preview you’re reading.
WR/TE: AJ Green shockingly regressed last year. This could be due to being double- and triple-teamed due to a lack of offensive weapons or the thought of wasting his prime years as a Cincinnati Bengal finally getting to him. There’s evidence to support both arguments.
As for all Wide Receivers not gamed AJ Green, Tyler Boyd seems to be gaining confidence and John Ross seems to be in a better place after a rookie season that broke him physically and mentally. That’s not a joke; that’s his words (which is always a good sign).
For Tight Ends, the question is always “How long will Tyler Eifert be healthy this time?” but Tyler Kroft showed flashes at time, so there’s that.
OL: Like the saying goes, when an NFL team misses in the 1st Round, it sets them back. Well the Bengals didn’t miss in the 1st Round of 2015 NFL Draft, they missed in the 1st AND 2nd Round of the 2015 NFL Draft. The Dumpster Fire of the 2017 Bengals season has responded with the Bengals signing veterans to replace the failed picks. Also, they have drafted a new center who can’t snap the ball in Training Camp. Somehow the coaches are not that concerned about the center not being able to do his main responsibility which is the action that starts every play in the NFL other than a kickoff.
DL: This was bit of a surprise to me last year, as I expected this to be a weakness, but it was a bit of a strength. The Bengals draft picks seem to be clicking, and Geno Atkins is finally getting some much deserved recognition.
LB: This part of the Bengals Defense seems to be Just Okay Its Average, but when they click, they click. Once again, this is my usual “Vontaze Burfict would be great if they can harness his effort and get him to play clean” part. I don’t think he’s a dirty player. If this was the 1970s NFL, he’d be the Face of the League. But since this is the 2010s NFL, he’s just a reckless player.
DB: If any part of the Defense is the weakest, its the Cornerbacks and Safeties. Most games last year that went south fast was because the opposing QB was carving up the Bengals defense like a roast and they couldn’t do anything about it. While not as egregiously bad as the Offensive Line, if this unit doesn’t improve, the Bengals will find themselves in high scoring games the Offense may not be able to keep up with.
Coach: Marvin Lewis enter his 4823rd year as the Bengals Head Coach. While a lot of people say he’s in the hot seat, as long as he has a picture of Mike Brown and that goat, he’ll be paid to half-ass coach as long as he wants.
AFC North Outlook:
Baltimore Ravens: Still a more competant version of the Bengals. Should make the playoff, but don’t.
Cleveland Browns: Will be better (can’t go -1 and 17), but I wouldn’t make the Playoff Tickets just yet.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Getting older, but other three teams still have more issues. Best of the Division by default.
2018 Prediction: Like last year, the Cincinnati Bengals have the talent and potential to succeed. The question is will they grow from the strengths and overcome their weaknesses. Last year, they didn’t.
Looking at the schedule, I see 8-8 but I can see them fall to 6-10 or 5-11 if the O-line still gives Dalton and his gang approximately zero point AH! to decide where to run or throw. As for the up-side, I can see as far as 9-7 (10-6 if everything falls right) but that’s a stretch. They are still the Bengals after all.
Bring on the 2018 Season! May all our beers be cold and our pizzas be hot.
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