Mister Obvious Says – If QB Andy Dalton could have a productive, mistake-free solid season the Bengals will certainly challenge for the division title. He has plenty of weapons with receivers A.J. Green, Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu and tight end Tyler Eifert. Add to that group running backs Jeremy Hill and Giovanni Bernard and Dalton should have it made.
Biggest Addition – LB A.J. Hawk’s arrival from Green Bay helps a Cincinnati defense that is in need of reinforcements.
Biggest Loss – TE Jermaine Gresham had 62 receptions for 460 yards and five touchdowns last season but he is now with Arizona, opening the door for Eifert or third-round draft choice Tyler Kroft to contribute.
Rookie To Watch – Kroft should get plenty of reps while Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis tries to settle on a tight end that can not only catch but serve as a capable blocker for Dalton.
Marquee Match-up – The regular season-finale at home against Baltimore shapes up to be a doozy with the winner likely headed to the playoffs.
Game Most Likely to Win – Week 12 against St. Louis, a dome team that must travel to frigid Cincinnati.
Game Most Likely to Lose – Week 6 against Buffalo, the last game before Cincinnati’s bye week and right after hosting Seattle. Will the Bengals’ collective heads be in the game against Buffalo?
Overall Thoughts – The Bengals are formidable at most positions except on defense. They had a league-worst 20 sacks last season which must eat at Lewis who is known for his defensive mind. Most of the linebacker positions are up for grabs and the secondary needs time to develop. So while Cincinnati’s offense is brimming with talent, its defense could hold it down. If the defense shows signs of improvement, the Bengals, as a whole, will too.
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