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Cincinnati Bengals News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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4/10/14: The Bengals strengthened their secondary last week by coming to terms with free agent safety Danieal Manning. Manning spent the past three seasons with the Houston Texans and was released earlier in the week. Manning had a good career going in Houston, but was injured for much of the 2013 season and only played in six games. His numbers were not that impressive either, totaling only 24 tackles, one sack and one pass breakup. He may be in a competition with George Iloka for the starting position, but it appears that he was brought in primarily for depth and to mentor some of the Bengals' younger players.
4/3/14: The Bengals extended head coach Marvin Lewis' contract a few weeks ago, and now he wants the same treatment for his starting quarterback Andy Dalton. The Bengals are under no obligation to do that as Dalton heads into his fourth season. A lot of people have knocked Dalton for not showing up in playoff games, but the fact of the matter is that he got Cincy to the playoffs in each of his first three seasons. He is only going into his fourth season now. Lewis wants an extension done quickly so it will not be a distraction later on and there will not be any questions about Dalton's future with the team.
3/27/14: Bengals QB Andy Dalton will see a familiar face this season, or more aptly, a familiar backside. The Bengals signed left tackle Marshall Newhouse to a deal last week after he visited the team as a free agent. Newhouse was the starting left tackle at TCU when Dalton was the starting QB there. He was a fifth round pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2010, and was a starter in 2011 and 2012. He lost his starting role last season and is looking for a fresh start. The Bengals lost their starting left tackle, Anthony Collins, in free agency and released starting center Kyle Cook, so they certainly had a need on the offensive line.
3/20/14: The AFC North should be interesting this coming season. In the 2013 season, it was essentially the Bengals' crown to lose. They held on and won the division, making the playoffs for the third straight year. It looks like Baltimore got better this offseason, as did the Browns. The Steelers may continue to struggle. The Bengals have lost some players to free agency, most notably Michael Johnson. But they also lost both of their head coordinators to head coaching jobs. The Bengals did give head coach Marvin Lewis an extension, but may find some tough times with new players and coaches.
3/13/14: The Bengals have managed their roster pretty well the last few years. They have qualified for the playoffs in three successive seasons, though they have not been able to break through to the next level as they may have hoped. The good news is that they will return their core again while AFC North rivals battle hard against the salary cap. Former Bengals great QB Boomer Esiason took to the airwaves last week in support of QB Andy Dalton. Boomer has a point, too. Everyone wants to win the Super Bowl every year, and the team and fans should be happy that they have a QB that gets them to the postseason.
3/6/14: The Bengals are the defending AFC North champs, and they do not have the roster holes to fill like Cleveland or Jacksonville may. That does not mean that they are complete yet. They had to replace both the offensive and defensive coordinator positions, as Jay Gruden and Mike Zimmer both took head coaching positions. Heading into the draft, they need to look at offensive linemen and cornerbacks. The team is fortunate enough not to 'need' anyone, so they can actually focus on the best available player. One name that does seem to stand out is Darqueze Dennard, the cornerback out of Michigan State.
2/27/14: New Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson has QB Andy Dalton's back. Dalton has played three seasons in the league and has led Cincy to the playoffs in each of those seasons. That is a pretty good track record by historical accounts. But Dalton is often criticized because he is not a dynamic play maker and not elite. Jackson says Dalton has everything you would want in a QB. He wins and is smart. Certainly, Dalton can improve, but getting to the playoffs is a big task in any year, and Dalton has done it three years in a row.
2/20/14: An unsung hero of the Bengals defense last year was Vinny Rey. Rey had been a career special teams guy and second or third stringer until starting middle linebacker Ray Maualuga was injured. Rey stepped in and performed as well as anyone in the league for an extended stretch. He was actually better than Maualuga according the stats. He is scheduled to be a restricted free agent. The Bengals would be well-suited to re-sign him. They may even consider cutting Maualuga, which could save some money, which could be used to bring in a bit more offensive talent.
2/13/14: When Jay Gruden was the offensive coordinator of the Bengals, they had a decent offense. It was not the most innovative scheme, but it certainly took advantage of the strengths of QB Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green. Rookie running back Giovanni Bernard did pretty well as well. Now that Hugh Jackson, the former Raiders' head coach, is the offensive coordinator, Bernard is excited. He believes they may have a 'crazy' playbook next season. That would be great for the team and will get a lot of publicity. Jackson may also want to bring in Darren McFadden - which will only help the team (when he is healthy).
2/6/14: The Bengals had an excellent defense this past season. A lot of credit is due to former defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer (now head coach of the Minnesota Vikings), and a lot of credit is due to the players themselves. Michael Johnson was a defensive end for Cincy last season, but it looks like he will not be returning. He is scheduled to be a free agent and will probably demand more than the Bengals can afford. He had a career high 56 tackles and 3.5 sacks last season, to go with eight batted balls. The franchise tag is an option, but still, that is a very expensive option.
1/30/14: Cincinnati is taking an unusual route this offseason with their coaching staff. They have brought in Vance Joseph to be the team's second defensive backs coach. It is rare to see two people share position coach duties, though we do see that with coordinator positions. This will be an important spot as the Bengals must address their cornerback situation. Right now they have two older veterans in Terence Newman and Pac Man Jones, and a young Leon Hall who is coming off of his second torn Achilles tendon in three years. Good chance Cincy takes a corner in the first round.
1/23/14: The Bengals have taken a huge hit to their coaching staff in the last week as both their offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator were hired away. Fomer OC Jay Gruden was hired by Washington to pick up the pieces after the Mike Shanahan era ended with a thud. Former DC Mike Zimmer was picked up by the Minnesota Vikings to resurrect that franchise after Leslie Frazier was fired. Cincy has made the playoffs for the past three years and many people believe that was due in large part by the excellent work of the coordinators. Head coach Marvin Lewis will have a difficult time replacing those guys, who are likely due to be head coaches at this point.
1/16/14: The Bengals wasted no time in replacing offensive coordinator Jay Gruden when he left to take the head coaching position in Washington. The Bengals promptly promoted Hue Jackson to OC. Jackson has been an OC for several teams, but is probably best known for being the head coach of the Oakland Raiders for a brief time. Gruden was heavily sought after, though his critics cite that his choice of QB, Andy Dalton, has never won a playoff game. That being said, Dalton is three years into his professional career, and has made the playoffs every time. While he does not have a postseason victory to his name, there are a lot of good QBs who would happily trade places.
1/9/14: The Bengals, which especially means coach Marvin Lewis and QB Andy Dalton, had their best chance yet to get over that hump and win a playoff game. Cincy took a 10-7 lead into halftime, but had no answer for the San Diego Chargers in the second half. The Chargers scored 20 points in the second half and forced several turnovers (not just interceptions, but on downs as well). San Diego sealed the game with a 58 yard touchdown run by Ronnie brown with just over two minutes remaining. Cincy may be looking for another offensive coordinator soon since Jay Gruden is scheduled to meet with Washington about their head coaching job and seems to be a good fit.
1/2/14: Cincinnati is back in the playoffs, marking three straight playoff appearances by the Bengals. They have been knocked in the first round the last two seasons - both times by the Houston Texans. This year, there is no Texans defense to worry about. Instead, the Bengals host the San Diego Chargers and Phillip Rivers. It will be cold this weekend, which favors the Bengals, as does the fact that Cincy has not lost at home all season. Winning this game would be a big step towards legitimacy, and could propel them to the Super Bowl in February.
12/26/13: Give the Bengals credit, they had to win in Minnesota to wrap up the AFC North crown and they did it in a 42-14 rout. Cincy has been the class of the division all season but has let a few games get away from them, which led to the outside chance of the Ravens or Steelers somehow stealing the division title. But the Bengals came through when it counted and will be in the playoffs. The only question remaining is whether they will get the fourth or fifth seed. They are tied with the Colts at 10-5, so this will come down to the final week to decide positioning.
12/19/13: The Bengals dropped an important division game to the Steelers 30-20 last Sunday, but still are in the lead in the AFC North. The loss dropped the Bengals to 9-5 on the season. The Bengals' special teams let them down as they allowed Antonio Brown to return a punt for a touchdown in the first quarter, and that would prove to be detrimental. Cincinnati could not get a running game going as Giovanni Bernard was the leading rusher with only 33 yards. Cincy is playing for playoff position right now and hosts the 4-9-1 Minnesota Vikings this Sunday afternoon.
12/12/13: The Bengals hosted the AFC South leading Indianapolis Colts last Sunday and were fortunate that they did not have the blizzard conditions to the East like in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. QB Andy Dalton had a big day with 275 yards passing and 3 touchdowns in the cold as the Bengals knocked off the Colts 42-28. Cincy improved to 6-0 at home this season, 9-4 overall, and got a little bit closer to capturing the AFC North crown. The Bengals have a two game lead over Baltimore in the division, and look like they can hold on. Cincinnati heads to Pittsburgh (5-8) for the Monday Night Game this week.
12/5/13: The Bengals continue their march toward the playoffs with an efficient, if not dull, win over the Chargers in San Diego last Sunday. The 17-10 win protected their two game lead in the AFC North. Andy Dalton did not have great numbers, he was only 14-23 for 190 yards with one TD and one INT. However Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis ran for 92 yards and a score and A.J. green added 83 yards receiving and a touchdown. Statistically, the game was pretty even, but the Bengals forced three turnovers, and turnovers kill in the NFL. Cincinnati looks like it will be the team that survives the AFC North, allowing them to host a playoff game.
11/28/13: The Bengals enjoyed their bye in Week 12, which makes this a good time to assess their season so far. Cincinnati has been among the crazier teams all year. They have some impressive wins and lit up the New York Jets for 49 points. They also lost consecutive overtime games where they could not move the ball or get into the endzone. QB Andy Dalton has come under fire for the past three weeks with uninspired play (do remember that he took them to the playoffs in his first two seasons and will likely do so again). In any case, the Bengals are 7-4 with a three game lead in the division. They return in Week 13 to face the Chargers in San Diego.
11/21/13: The Bengals had a bad taste in their mouths after losing in overtime in consecutive weeks. To make matters worse, the so-called NFL experts were doubting the team and their position in leading the AFC North. Cincinnati settled some debts last Sunday by overpowering the upstart Cleveland Browns in a resounding 41-20 win. QB Andy Dalton has been criticized for his play recently, and he was not great on Sunday. He only threw for 93 yards and had two interceptions. However, he did throw three touchdown passes and winning is what is important. Cincy now has a three game lead in the division and week off to enjoy the win.
11/14/13: Just when everyone thought that the Bengals were going to run away with the NFC North, life happened. The Bengals lost in OT to the Miami Dolphins last Thursday on a walk-off safety in overtime, and they followed that up with an overtime loss to division rival Baltimore. Cincy was overmatched the entire game, but tallied a highlight reel moment by tying the game as time expired with a Hail Mary that was batted around and finally caught by A.J. Green in the endzone. The Bengals are still two games up on everyone in the division and host the Browns on Sunday.
11/7/13: The Bengals suffered an uncharacteristic letdown last Thursday, losing in overtime to the Miami Dolphins 22-20 on a rare walk-off safety. Cincinnati had the misfortune of not just playing on Thursday, but also being the visiting team - which is historically a bad situation. Andy Dalton had an up and down night. He threw for 338 yards but no touchdowns. He also threw three interceptions, which really turned the tide of the game. Running back Giovanni Bernard was excellent again with 79 yards and two touchdowns. The Bengals are still on top of the surprisingly weak AFC North, though.
10/31/13: Little known fact that the Bengals are 15-0 when they score more than 24 points during the Andy Dalton era. And for those that keep doubting Dalton, the man just keeps on winning. The Bengals destroyed the New York Jets 49-9. They scored 14 points in each of the first three quarters before letting up and only scoring seven points in the fourth quarter. Dalton threw for 325 yards and five touchdowns, including four to Marvin Jones, against the vaunted Jets' defense. Cincy is now 6-2 and controls the AFC North. Short week, however, as the Bengals visit Miami for the Thursday Night game.
10/24/13: Bengals' kicker Mike Nugent kicked a game winning 54 yard field goal as time expired to give Cincinnati a dramatic 27-24 win over the host Detroit Lions. The win gives the Bengals a 5-2 record and control of the AFC North. Both QB Andy Dalton and star WR A.J. Green were outstanding in the game. Dalton was 24-34 for 372 yards and three touchdowns, while Green had six catches for 155 yards and a score. The Bengals abandoned the running game, and Giovanni Bernard, who was the leading rusher, only managed 27 yards on seven carries. Cincy is at home next week hosting the New York Jets (4-3).
10/17/13: The Bengals continue to astound and confuse because no one can tell if they are a bad good team or a good bad team. They did manage to go into Buffalo and come away with a 27-24 overtime win over the quarterback-less Bills. QB Andy Dalton was 26-40 for 337 yards and three touchdowns on the day and A.J. Green got back to elite status with 103 yards receiving and a touchdown. At 4-2, the Bengals are now on top of the AFC North, thanks to losses by both Baltimore and Cleveland. Bengals head to Detroit (4-2) this Sunday.
10/10/13: Cincinnati is a tough team to figure out. They have lost games they should have won, yet have beaten both the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots. They are at 3-2 and tied with both Baltimore and Cleveland for the AFC North lead. The win over the Patriots was an ugly 13-6 game. The defense did a good job of keeping Tom Brady and company at bay. The Bengals used former Patriot Ben Jarvis Green Ellis effectively, but it was still an ugly game. But, as they say, a win is a win. We will see how the Bengals fare on the road against Buffalo (2-3) this Sunday.
10/3/13: For Cincinnati to win the AFC North they cannot afford to lose games like this to the Cleveland Browns. The Browns defense simiply smothered the Bengals' offense all day. QB Andy Dalton barely had 200 yards passing and no TDs. Browns' cornerback Joe Haydon eliminated A.J. Green's effectiveness throughout the game. And the front seven limited the Bengals to just 63 yards rushing on the day. Cleveland won 17-6. The Bengals are now 2-2 and in a three way tie for first place in the division with Cleveland and the Baltimore Ravens. Cincy hosts the Patriots (4-0) in Week 5.
9/26/13: The Bengals had a big test on Sunday when they hosted Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in a game that pit a great offense against a solid defense. The Bengals won 34-30, though they are lucky for the victory. Packers' rookie running back James Franklin fumbled the ball near the goal line as the Packers were trying to run out the clock. The Bengals recovered and ran it back for the winning score.That may be a bit of fluke win, but is the kind that is needed for a team to get to the playoffs and beyond. Cincinnati (2-1) now travel to rival Cleveland (1-2) for a Sunday game.
9/19/13: Cincinnati is staking their claim as the king of the AFC North, and their first mark was the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football. The Bengals defense completely dominated the line of scrimmage and did not allow the Steelers to move on the ground. Cincy ended up winning 20-10, with the last seven point by Pittsburgh being in garbage time. The major downside was losing defensive end Robert Gaethers for the season with an elbow industry. The Bengals are now 1-1 on the young season. The much-heralded defense gets a great test this weekend when the Bengals host Green Bay in an early Sunday game.
9/12/13: The Bengals are supposed to have one of the toughest defenses in the NFL this season, but it did not look that way against Chicago. The Bears beat the Bengals 24-21 on Opening Sunday, and what is more is that Cincinnati did not have a single sack. The Bears used a lot of three step drops to counteract the quick defensive rush, and that was effective. Cincy now has an extra day to prepare. The Bengals host the Steelers on the Monday Night Game, and this could be a good bounce back game. The good news is that all AFC North teams lost their openers, so the Bengals are still in the mix.
9/4/13: A common theme among teams this season is going with two rather than three quarterbacks, and the Bengals are joining that trend. The rules changes over the past few years favor quarterback safety, so it seems like less are getting seriously hurt each year (tell that to Washington and Buffalo fans). The Bengals waived John Skelton as part of their final cuts, leaving Andy Dalton and Josh Johnson on the roster. Dalton is entering his third season and has not missed a game yet. Johnson is a capable backup who saw a few starts in Tampa before Josh Freeman took over.
8/29/13: There is a lot of love out there for the Bengals from 'experts' who are trying to pick a surprise team this season. Everything looks perfect on paper, especially since the team has made the playoffs the past two seasons. But the Bengals did not look particularly strong against the Dallas Cowboys in their third preseason game. Most concerning was the defense which was picked apart by Tony Romo for two first half touchdowns. Luckily it is just the preseason and there is time to fix any problems - and the defense will have to be much better during the regular season to knock off the Ravens and Steelers.
8/22/13: The Bengals have star wide receiver A.J. Green back in the mix. Green has said previously that he does not consider himself an elite wide receiver, but he is. The Dalton to Green connection has been pay-dirt for two years now (and two playoff appearances), and should only improve. Green left practice a few weeks ago after hurting his knee, but appears fine now. If the Bengals have an X-Factor, it is rookie running back Giovanni Bernard. Bernard looks like he can do it all. Right now, he is a nice complement to Ben Jarvis Green Ellis, but do not be surprised in the least if he steals the starting job sometime during the year.
8/15/13: There is no agreement in place, but the word on the street is that the Bengals have been negotiating with upcoming star defensive lineman Geno Atkins on a new contract. Atkins is entering the final year of his rookie contract and there is no doubt that the club would like to keep him around for a while. Atkins may now be the best pass rusher in the league, and is a big reason why the Cincinnati defense is expected to be outstanding this season. If the two sides cannot come to an agreement, then it is likely that the Bengals would place the franchise tag on him after the season ends.
8/8/13: Here is a great secret that no one is talking about right now. The Bengals are a legitimate threat to win the AFC North and may have one of the top three defenses in the NFL. The name Cincinnati Bengals is synonymous with futility and losing - at least it has been that way for most of the franchise's history. But the team made the playoffs the last two seasons, has a good and developing QB, has a superstar wide receiver, may have the best rookie running back that no one has ever heard of, and again, has a tremendous defense led by Geno Atkins (remember that name). So if you are looking for a sleeper, keep an eye on the Bengals this season.
8/1/13: The Bengals are taking it easy with their star wide receiver A.J. Green for the time being. Green hurt his knee during one of the first training camp practices, but it appears to be minor at this time - a far cry from Philadelphia where wide receiver Jeremy Maclin is out for the year with a torn ACL. An MRI came back negative, which is positive - so it looks like it is only a bruise. The Bengals cannot take any chances with Green's injury though, they need him to open up the offense and provide a steady outlet for Andy Dalton if they are going to be competitive in the AFC North this season.
7/25/13: The whole world will be able to see the Bengals' training camp play out as they will be the featured team on Hard Knocks again this season. One of the more interesting training camp battles will be at running back. The incumbent veteran is The Lawfirm. A steady but unspectacular running back. The new kid is Giovani Bernard, who was simply lightning at the University of North Carolina. Bernard may end up being the featured back, and the coaching staff is incredibly high on him at this point because he can run, catch and block like a veteran.
7/18/13: The Bengals took care of some roster housekeeping this week. The team came to terms with Carlos Dunlap on a six year deal that will pay him $40 million. The team also signed tight end Tyler Eifert. Eifert was the last remaining member of the 2013 draft class to sign with the team. He was their first round pick. The new collective bargaining agreement has certainly helped the Bengals get draft picks signed. In the past, they often had trouble getting the first and second round picks to sign, as did many teams - which often times led to hold outs lasting into training camp.
7/11/13: The Bengals should be feeling pretty good about themselves these days. They have made the playoffs the past two season, return a young core of solid players, and are watching their two biggest AFC North obstacles go through some rebuilding. The Bengals can win the AFC North this year, even if no one believes it right now except them. Also, the coaching staff seems to be in love with rookie running back Giovani Bernard. While Ben Jarvis Green Ellis is entrenched as the starter, Bernard will get some carries and may even get some reps at wide receiver or as the main man on bubble passes.
7/4/13: It may be time for everyone to learn the name Geno Atkins. Atkins is a defensive tackle who may be the best in the league at this point. As evidence, one rating service gave him a score of 80 for overall proficiency. The next closest was 31.7 by Tampa's Gerald McCoy. Atkins registered 12.5 sacks last season, and was credited with causing 16. Essentially, all the hype that the Ravens and Steelers get for pressuring the QB should go to the Bengals. With a young and hungry team around him, the Bengals may just be the class of the AFC North this season.
6/27/13: Hopefully this will be the year that the Bengals earn some much due respect. There is always a lot of media focus on the Ravens/Steelers rivalry - and that is a great rivalry. A lot of ink has been spent on the Ravens not being as good next season because a lot of their core players are gone. Don't forget, however, that the Bengals made the playoffs in the last two seasons. They have a good young QB and a superstar wide receiver in A.J. Green. Odds makers like Pitt and Baltimore more, but do not be surprised if the Bengals win the division.
6/20/13: The Bengals have had their share of criminals in the past several years, so it was little surprise when 'Raiders East' took a chance with Adam 'Pac Man' Jones a few years ago. For the most part, Jones has stayed out of trouble. He goes by Adam now and is keeping a lower profile. But sometimes trouble finds him. He was involved with an altercation with a woman at a bar recently. She hit him with a bottle and he hit her back - claiming self defense. A judge has ordered them not to have any contact with each other. That may be tougher done than said. They both work at the stadium and are likely to run in to each other at some time.
6/13/13: Pro Bowl tackle and team player rep Andrew Whitworth caused a bit of a media storm this week when he said that he would not play in London if there is a team there. Whitworth cited the travel as a reason he does not like it, and insinuated that other players agree. It must be noted that the tax rates in England are much higher than in the US, so a London franchise would be at a competitive disadvantage in signing free agents from a money standpoint. The travel is a big issue as well. One half of the time, the team would be in the States, and away from 'home'. Some news outlets have decried Whitworth's comments, but it looks like he has more knowledge on the subject and the circumstances than they do.
6/6/13: Andrew Dalton is the unquestioned quarterback fro the Bengals, but there have been reports that the team may be interested in trying out former first overall pick JaMarcus Russell as a backup. Russell is trying to get back into the NFL and has lost a lot of weight in his conditioning program. But the bigger issue is who will be the number two receiver. A.J. Green is an elite wide out, but he needs someone opposite to remove double teams. Jerome Simpson had filled that role, but he left in free agency. Mohamed Sanu, Marvin Jones, and rookie Cobi Hamilton are options, though none has distinguished himself at this point.
5/30/13: Since QB Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green burst onto the scene two years ago, the Bengals have relied mostly on an effective passing game to get into the playoffs. The knock is that their running game is not that strong. However, BenJarvis Green Ellis did run for almost 1100 yards on 278 carries, and scored six touchdowns. He will likely be the featured back again, even though the Bengals made Giovani Bernard the first running back selected in the April Draft. Bernard is more of a finesse runner than the Law Firm, and expect the team to use them as complements for each other for at least this coming season.
5/23/13: The Bengals did a better job of anyone this offseason of keeping their core together and adding some new pieces. Granted, teams like the Ravens reached tremendous heights and realized their core was old - and they reorganized in order to avoid a huge fall. Other teams were just horrible and dismantled because they had to. The Bengals have a strong group that has made the playoffs the past two years. Signing James Harrison for a fraction of his value is huge - and now he has a chip on his shoulder. You heard it here first - the Bengals will win the AFC North next season.
5/16/13: Cincinnati has made the playoffs the last two seasons and was able to keep their young core in tact in the off season. So why is it that so many people doom them to failure. The easy answer is that QB Andy Dalton is the next Mark Sanchez. He is not. Dalton has led the team to the playoffs in his first two seasons and is surrounded by better talent than Sanchez, as well as the fact that the Bengals are not the circus that the New York Jets are. The AFC North is as competitive as any division, but Dalton keeps getting better. It also does not hurt that he has A.J. Green to throw to.
5/9/13: Does anyone remember Dre Kirkpatrick? The Bengals drafted him 17th overall in 2012. He was injured through the first half of the season and did not play until November. He appeared in only five games and had four tackles as a rookie cornerback. He hurt his knee in December and was placed on injured reserve. No one is really sure of his health right now. If he is healthy, and can learn from a lost rookie season, then gives the Bengals a lethal secondary. If not, then it will be more of the same for Dre. Cincy brought back Adam Jones and Terrance Newman as well.
5/2/13: No one is sure what type of offense the Bengals plan on running this coming season, and the speculation is growing with their first round selection: tight end Tyler Eifert from Notre Dame. Cincy already has Jermaine Gresham on the roster, so that either means they are going to run a two tight end offense like New England, or Gresham has a foot out the door. They selected North Carolina running back Giovanni Bernard in the second round, hoping to fill their hole at half back. But they did get the player with the best nickname. Margus Hunt, the huge defensive end from SMU who is from Estonia - also known as the Eastern Block.
4/25/13: The Bengals and former Steelers defensive player of the year James Harrison finally reached a deal. The two sides were expected to reach an agreement a few weeks ago, but talks fell apart. The the Bengals started talking to Karlos Dansby, formerly of the Miami Dolphins. Dansby is younger, but wanted more money. It also helps that Harrison knows the Steelers defense inside and out, which will come in handy twice a year. Dansby may end up in Buffalo, where they desperately need his services. As for the draft, Cincinnati could use help in a few places, particularly at running back.
4/18/13: The Bengals did a remarkable job keeping their core group together in the offseason and not surrendering much to free agency. Their division rivals, the Baltimore Ravens, essentially destroyed their roster after winning the Super Bowl and did not retain much. The difference is that the Ravens roster was old, while the Bengals are full of guys finishing their rookie contracts. With all the turmoil in the AFC North, it is not hard to imagine Cincy winning the division next year and perhaps getting to a conference championship. The latest news is that the Bengals and former Steelers defensive player of the year James Harrison are close to an agreement.
4/11/13: The Bengals are trying to find a back up to BenJarvis Green Ellis (aka: the Law Firm). Cincinnati worked out former Cowboys first round draft pick Felix Jones. Jones was expected to be the dynamic playmaker the Cowboys needed in the running game, but injuries derailed his career. He averaged 4.8 yards per carry, however has only played a full 16 game schedule twice in his five year career. The Cowboys let him go, having settled on DeMarco Murray as their starter. Law Firm could be a nice change of pace guy who does have the ability to take a few carries all the way.
4/4/13: The Bengals continue to resign their players and keep their core young veterans around. This past week they finished up the last of their own guys by getting corner back Terrance Newman to return for two more seasons. Newman was a first round pick by the Dallas Cowboys and played his first nine years in Big D and last season in Cincinnati. Newman is still going strong. He led the team in passes defended with 14 and added two interceptions. While the Steelers are reeling and Baltimore is an unknown, this could be the season that the Bengals take the NFC North.
3/28/13: One would be hard pressed to find a team that did a better job of retaining their own guys this offseason. The team just came to terms with unrestricted free agents cornerback Adam 'Pac Man' Jones and wide receiver Brandon Tate. For those keeping score at home, that makes five defensive players and six offensive or special teams players that decided to stay with Cincinnati rather than move on to a new team. The Bengals also signed quarterback Josh Johnson to backup starter Andy Dalton. Johnson has a big arm and can play, if he can just get on the field.
3/21/13: The Bengals could be considered the even keel team throughout this offseason. They essentially kept their strong defense in tact by resigning key free agents or using the franchise tag. The lost linebacker Manny Lawson to Buffalo, but should be able to fill his absence. They do need to fill the back up quarterback position since Bruce Gradkowski departed. Former Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick reportedly has met with the team about a return as the back up. Fitzpatrick was with the Bengals in 2007 and 2008 before going to Buffalo and eventually earning the starter's position.
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3/14/13: The Bengals are staying pretty pat in free agency so far. They have had a couple personnel losses, but none that were surprising. The biggest name of the bunch is linebacker Rey Maualuga. The St. Louis Rams surprised everyone a few years ago when they passed on Maualuago out of USC for Jame Laurinitis of Ohio State. Five years later and it looks like the Rams made (for once) the right choice. Rey visited Arizona, but left without a contract. Considering that the Ravens just lost Dannell Ellerbe, he may be a fit with division rival Baltimore.
3/7/13: In one of the crazier NFL stories of the week, Bengals defensive end Wallace Gilberry is wagering his Rolls Royce that UFC middleweight Michael "The Count" Bisping will not knock out Alan Belcher in the first round when they fight on April 27. The wager is a direct challenge to Bisping to put up a wager of a similar value. The challenge was posted on You Tube as a video filmed from the back of the RR Phanton with Gilberry and Belcher. No word yet on if the wager has been accepted, but Gilberry claims the car is worth $300,000.
2/14/13: The Bengals have made the playoffs for the past two seasons, and both times were knocked out by the Houston Texans. This past loss was a 19-13 nail biter where the defenses stepped up big time. Marvin Lewis is now 0-4 in the playoffs for his career, and quarterback Andy Dalton is 0-2. Lewis promoted Hue Jackson to special assistant and has publicly said that the team's goal is to improve offensively. Cincinnati could use a complementary receiver to all-pro A.J. Green, and they could benefit from a stronger running game - which may mean some changes on the offensive line and/or at the tailback position.
2/7/13: The Bengals announced that Hue Jackson will remain on the coaching staff. Last season, he served as defensive backs coach and assistant special teams coach. This season he is slated to be the running backs coach and special assistant to head coach Marvin Lewis. The Bengals need to address the running back position. Cedric Benson was serviceable a few years ago, and BenJarvis Green Ellis was satisfactory last year. However, the Bengals need a top tier tailback to draw some attention away from quarterback Andrew Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green. Adding a top running game would make the team competitive in the AFC North.
1/31/13: The Bengals made an interesting move this past week, signing Aaron Maybin. Maybin was drafted in the first round by the Bills in 2009 as a pass rush specialist. He recorded no sacks in two years and was cut as a bust. The Jets picked him up and used him as a linebacker where he had six sacks, but was cut midway through 2012 for lack of production. In Cincinnati, he may return to a pass rushing defensive tackle position, where he will have a chance to revivie his career. The talent is there, but it seems like he has not been used properly in his time in the NFL yet.
1/24/13: Maybe the Bengals can forget about that disastrous Akili Smith draft pick several years ago. Or maybe this is just an indication of how low the bar is set. Through two seasons, Andy Dalton has the best winning percentage in Bengals history of any QB that has started 10 or more games at .594. In that time span, he is 19-13 in the regular season. Good numbers, certainly, but not Hall of Fame worthy. Just for the notes: Virgil Carter is second at 12-10 (.545) and Ken Anderson stands at third with a record of 91-81 (.529).
1/17/13: In two seasons, the Andy Dalton to A.J. Green connection has been among the best in the game. They came in as rookies together and had a surprisingly strong freshman campaign, followed by an even better second act. Some may argue, effectively, that A.J. Green has been better than Julio Jones - who was the highest rated and highest drafted wide out in 2011. But while Jones has complements - namely Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez - A.J. Green does not and is routinely double covered. The Bengals need a second option for Dalton if they are going to progress past the first round of the playoffs next season.
1/10/13: The Bengals may have one of the worst records over the past two decades, but they have made the playoffs for the past two years. Unfortunately, just like last season, the team was eliminated from the post season by the Houston Texans. Houston relied on a heavy dose of Arian Foster (140 yards) and strong defense to win 19-13. Overall, the Texans loaded up 420 yards of offense on a strong Bengals defense. The season is over for Cincinnati, while the Texans head to Foxborough to play New England, in a rematch from a few weeks ago.
1/3/13: The Bengals have flown under the radar all year, and did not even get much publicity when they secured the number 6 playoff seed in Week 16. Their Week 17 opponent was division rival Baltimore, whom they beat 23-17. The game was essentially meaningless because Baltimore had already secured the division and the Bengals could not change their seeding. So the big theme was 'don't get hurt. However, the game could be a playoff preview. Cincinnati opens their playoff run in a rematch of last season's first round, traveling to Houston to face the Texans this weekend.
12/27/12: The Bengals have played under the radar all season, but secured the no. 6 seed in the AFC playoffs by beating the Steelers on a last minute field goal. Alternatively, the Steelers are out of the playoffs and face more questions about their aging core of players. It was the Bengals first victory over Pittsburgh in three years, and is the first time the team has made the playoffs in consecutive years since 1981-82, and the first time they have made it in consecutive non-strike years. Cincinnati has the luxury of resting their stars in their Week 17 match up at home against Baltimore, who has clinched the AFC North.
12/20/12: The Bengals drew the Eagles in the Thursday Night game, looking to rebound from a heartbreaking last minute loss to the Dallas Cowboys the Sunday prior. Cincinnati built up a quick 10-0 lead, but trailed by three at halftime. Not to worry, though, the Bengals dominated the second half, outscoring Philly 24-0 in the second half. Cincy's offense was nothing special; Andy Dalton three for only 124 yards. But the defense came up big and put the Eagles away. The Bengals are still in the mix for a playoff spot, and visit the Steelers on Sunday.
12/13/12: The Bengals five game winning streak came to an end against Dallas on Sunday, as the team lost a game they should have won. Cincy led 19-10 going into the fourth quarter, but could not put the Cowboys away. Instead, their offense stalled Dallas rallied for 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, stealing the game. Quarterback Andy Dalton did not have a particularly strong day, throwing for just 200 yards and one score. The Bengals are 7-6, and had the good fortune that both Baltimore and Pittsburgh lost as well, keeping the teams playoff hopes alive going into the final three weeks of the season.
12/6/12: Like their helmets, the Bengals are effective, just not pretty. Cincinnati made the cross country trip to San Diego to face the struggling Chargers, and won 20-13. Quarterback Andy Dalton only threw for 211 yards and one touchdown, going 25-39. But it was enough. Enough to place the Bengals at 7-5 and tied for second with the Steelers in the AFC North. Enough to keep their playoff hopes alive, while more publicized teams are falling out of contention. The Bengals now return home to host the Dallas Cowboys, who are coming off of a dramatic win over the Eagles.
The Cincinnati Bengals will look to continue their effective defensive play in the 2012 season. The offseason season has been built around improving a defense that was already ninth against the pass and tenth against the run in 2011. First round pick cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick will be expected to start the season filling in for the injured Leon Hall, who tore his achilles in Week 10 last season and may not be ready for the season opener. The Bengals also hope third year safety Taylor Mays can step up to a starter role next to Reggie Nelson in his second year with the team.
Cincinnati Bengals Tickets - Team History
Things have looked brighter lately, but it's been a rough twenty years for the Cincinnati Bengals. Playoff appearances in 2005 and 2009 have been surrounded by eighteen other years of losing records. Five years ago, a receiving corps of Chad Ochocinco (or is it Johnson again?) and Terrell Owens would've been the best in the league. Both are still immensely talented players, but an overhaul is coming soon in Cincinnati.
Cincinnati Bengals Tickets - 2011 Season Info
The extended offseason has not been good for a lot of teams, but the Bengals are among those for whom it's truly been bad. Though Owens and Ochocinco are both known for making a lot of noise off the field, both train hard and come to camp in shape. This year, other than Ochocinco trying out for every professional sports team aside from Harry Potter's Quidditch squad, it's been Carson Palmer making the headlines. The veteran QB is threatening to retire if he isn't traded. The team obviously took Palmer's ultimatum seriously, selecting TCU quarterback Andy Dalton in the second round of the draft. It's their first round selection, however, that should signify the end to the Owens and Ochocinco show in Cincinnati. There aren't enough footballs for the pair as well as the supremely talented A.J. Green, who will more than likely replace Owens on the field.
Cincinnati Bengals Tickets
Four games against the Steelers and Ravens are going to be rough this year, with or without Palmer. Other than that, however, Cincinnati's schedule is promising. The Bengals don't play any of their games in prime time, giving them the perfect opportunity to sneak up on teams and play the role of spoiler or even make their own run toward a postseason berth.
Cincinnati Bengals Tickets - The Players
Carson Palmer retired after a career riddled with injuries and under achieving but he will still be known as a good quarterback. The question is what is going to happen with the Bengals? The current rosters lists Bruce Gradkowski, Jordan Palmer, Dan LeFavour and Andy Dalton all as possible starters. Their receiving core is young and the oldest receiver, Jerome Simpson, has only 4 years of experience but they look for Jordan Shipley to catch some touchdowns in the future. The entire team is full of young players, most with 5 or less years of experience with a veteran here and there. Nate Clements was picked up in the off season and there is some hope that he'll be able to help this young defense develop. There is no high expectations in the immediate future but give it a few years and this team could have developed in a hard hitting force in the NFL.
Cincinnati Bengals Schedule & Key Dates
Opening Day / Cincinnati Bengals First Game 2013
Cincinnati Bengals Preseason Beginning 2013
Dec 8, 2013 Indianapolis Colts 28 - 42 Cincinnati Bengals Dec 1, 2013 Cincinnati Bengals 17 - 10 San Diego Chargers Nov 17, 2013 Cleveland Browns 20 - 41 Cincinnati Bengals Nov 10, 2013 Cincinnati Bengals 17 - 20 Baltimore Ravens Oct 31, 2013 Cincinnati Bengals 20 - 22 Miami Dolphins Oct 27, 2013 New York Jets 9 - 49 Cincinnati Bengals Oct 13, 2013 Cincinnati Bengals 27 - 24 Buffalo Bills Oct 6, 2013 New England Patriots 6 - 13 Cincinnati Bengals Sep 29, 2013 Cincinnati Bengals 6 - 17 Cleveland Browns Sep 22, 2013 Green Bay Packers 30 - 34 Cincinnati Bengals Sep 8, 2013 Cincinnati Bengals 21 - 24 Chicago Bears Aug 29, 2013 Preseason: Indianapolis Colts 10 - 27 Cincinnati Bengals Aug 24, 2013 Preseason: Cincinnati Bengals 18 - 24 Dallas Cowboys Aug 17, 2013 Preseason: Tennessee Titans 19 - 27 Cincinnati Bengals
Aug 24, 2014 Cincinnati Bengals vs Arizona Cardinals Aug 28, 2014 Indianapolis Colts vs Cincinnati Bengals