Your 2018 Bengals Preview: Re-Defining Insanity – One Year At a Time

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 Unfortunately, the four-time Most Popular Bengal award-winner by fan vote AJ McCarron has left town and has been replaced by Matt Barkley.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.

[Banner image via]

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Ian Scott McCormick

I was nodding along until you said that you don’t think Vontaze is a dirty player. Then I realized that I’m reading the stream of consciousness rantings of a lunatic. I imagine the first draft was written in the blood of your neighbor’s cat.

litre_cola

My wife is a Bengals fan as they are they same coloUrs of the BC LioUns in the CFL which she actually cares about. I told her to expect nothing ever.

JustStopDude
JustStopDude

I got a LOT of hate for Cinci…between Mike Brown, easily the cheapest son of a bitch in the NFL, to that god awful chilly.

Seriously…if it weren’t for Cleveland, Cincinnati would be known as the worst city in Ohio.

And Jesus fuck Titty Christ you want to talk about white trash rednecks. I remember doing a job in Cincinnati and one of the electricians asked me where I was based out of. I said Virginia.

“Really? I’m surprised a nigger would live in the racist ass south”

He was legitimately surprised by me getting pissed off and reaching for a fucking torque wrench. he topped it off, as one of his coworkers was holding me back…

“JSD! I thought you were one of the good ones”

Bomb that fucking city from orbit.

WCS

It’s the only way to be sure.

blaxabbath

“Bomb it with SPACE FORCE!” Says these two Ohioans —

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WCS

Ironic that these two grew up hating communism and all things Rooskie.

blaxabbath

“Growing up” typically means advancing past the 10th grade. In that sense, these two are basically Peter Pans.

BrettFavresColonoscopy

It’s not irony if you don’t hit them over the head with an iron

BrettFavresColonoscopy

So they’ll win the division?

King Hippo

not like The Bearistocrats!

King Hippo

One could sense Redshirt’s anger rising as he typed, with occasional resignation ebbing in. Enjoyed it!

Sharkbait

Over/Under 1.5 keyboards broken out of anger in writing this piece?

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

So my Raiders swiped Paul Guenther away as defensive coordinator – anything I should be expecting from him?

tomsellecksmoustache
tomsellecksmoustache

An unhealthy fondness for visors and vests.

King Hippo

sounds gritty/like a grinder, I see why he got Gruden’s “this guy” treatment

blaxabbath

comment image?zoom=1.5625&resize=815,461&ssl=1

WCS

If there’s one team that can go -1 and 17, I’d put my money on the Browns.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

It’s kind of a paradox, though, because then you’d be betting *on the Browns* which is a disaster waiting to happen.

Sharkbait

So betting on the Browns is like dividing by zero then?

The Right Reverend Electric Mayhem

+++ Divide By Cucumber Error. Please Reinstall Universe And Reboot +++

nomonkeyfun

Most Popular Bengal award-winner by fan vote AJ McCarron has left town

And he’s taken the two most attractive women in the city with him.

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King Hippo

how’d ya airbrush out the “mom.xxx” logo?

SonOfSpam

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.

LOL

Low Commander of the Super Soldiers

The music really brings that hit to life.

blaxabbath

I like that Green went right for the grapple. That little shoving match bullshit — between men in complete padding — it weak. Go for the air supply or, if you’re good, the blood supply. 10 seconds later, you’ll be able to beat on his limp body all you want.

Sharkbait

Thanks Cincinnati.

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SonOfSpam

Brief story:

About 10 years ago, I was helping my daughter’s grade school class with some dress-up day thing (space related or whatever); some other kid’s grandpa was doing the same, and eventually we got to talking. Turns out, he was former Bengals WR Isaac Curtis. (Nice enough guy, still has his wits, etc.) I got his opinions on some players and the state of the game, and got around to mentioning #80 pictured above. His comment was something like, “Yeah, Cris definitely got into the right profession after he retired. He, uh, liked to talk. A lot.”

ballsofsteelandfury

Read: “He’s always been an asshole”

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

I dunno, I always felt he’d be at home judging teenage beauty pageants.