Cincinnati Bengals News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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2/25/15: NFL teams are in the middle of grading the incoming draft class, with everyone hoping to find new superstars at a rookie's salary. However, they are also tidying up their rosters and trimming the fat. The Cincinnati Bengals took part in that annual tradition last week by releasing veteran offensive guard Mike Pollack. Pollack signed a three year deal less than a year ago, but that is life in the NFL. He is a serviceable offensive lineman, but not a starter or a star by any means. In all likelihood, he will find work as a depth guy somewhere as NFL teams are always looking for offensive lineman.
2/18/15: Congratulations to Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still for being awarded the Tracy's Kids 10th Annual Courage Award. Still gained fame last year by starting a drive to raise money to pay for his daughter's cancer treatments. The drive was well-received and raised awareness of childhood cancer throughout the United States. Cancer treatments, even with insurance, can costs families hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the wonderful support of the NFL community helped ease their burden. Additionally, Still's daughter Leah deserves credit to for being tremendously brave throughout her ordeal. Well done and well-deserving to both Devan and Leah.
2/11/15: Tight end Jermaine Gresham has tempted and tortured Bengals coaches and fans, not to mention thousands of fantasy football fans, over the past five years. He has massive amounts of talent, but has never fulfilled his potential in the NFL. He has developed into a decent blocker, but tight ends these days are big red zone targets and can change the outcome of games. It does not look like Gresham will be back in Cincinnati next season. His five year rookie contract is up and the Bengals have another first round tight end on the roster with Tyler Eiffert.
2/5/15: Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still will probably never win the MVP award in the NFL, but should be considered for a Man of the Year honors. Still rose from relative obscurity to household name last summer when he sold jerseys to help pay for his daughter's cancer treatments. His daughter, Leah, is only four years old, but is probably braver than most pro football players for dealing with multiple rounds of treatments including chemotherapy. Still and Leah have now written children's book to help others battling pediatric cancer. The book, entitled "I am Leah Strong" will be available online next month.
1/28/15: Linebacker Vontaze Burfict missed a good deal of offseason workouts and training camp last year in a contract dispute. When he finally did play, he ended upon the injured reserve and the rumors were circulating that he would need surgery. That ended up to be true as Burfict underwent microfracture surgery on his knee. The current plan is to have him rehab and ready to go for training camp, though microfracture surgery always comes with the risk of not fully recovering like former Ohio State basketball star Greg Odom. However, Burfict's doctor is not concerned and expects the linebacker to be his old form for the 2015 season.
1/21/15: Maybe Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther needs to understand what the term 'just a guy' really means. He referred to defensive tackle Geno Atkins as just a guy recently, noting that Atkins only had 34 tackles and three sacks this season. Bear in mind that he missed 2013 with an ACL tear and had a total of 100 tackles and 20 sacks in 2011 and 2012. The numbers were good enough to Atkins back to the Pro Bowl. He is replacing Lions DT Ndamukong Suh, who withdrew from injury. Atkins may not be up to speed yet, but he should be back to his old self next season.
1/14/15: Once again, the Cincinnati Bengals made it to the playoffs, their fourth straight appearance. And, once again, they were eliminated in their first game, their fourth straight time. That has led for calls to cut QB Andy Dalton (not likely this season) as well as calls for a new head coach (also unlikely). It is easy to understand the frustrations of Bengals fans. At the same time, the Bengals had the most losses in the 1990's and were not much of a threat until Marvin Lewis came to town. They are having about as much success now as they have had at any time in the history of the franchise, so that is something to be proud of.
1/7/15: For the fourth year in a row, the Cincinnati Bengals have made it to the playoffs. And, for the fourth year in a row, the Bengals were eliminated in the opening round. This time, it was a 26-10 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. While not trying to make excuses, it should be noted that the Bengals were without their best player, A.J. Green, who was kept out of the game due to a concussion. A lot of the blame will go to QB Andy Dalton, whether he deserves it or not. He did not have a great game statistically, but the Bengals were still in the game until late in the third quarter. Now, once again, it is time to pick up the pieces and start over.
12/3/14: There may be a lot of people doubting the Cincinnati Bengals and Andy Dalton, but after 13 weeks of the NFL's regular season, the Bengals are the closest team to making the playoffs in the AFC North. Every other division rival lost last Sunday. The Bengals almost did not escape Tampa, but they did, and now they have a game and a half lead on everyone in the division. Cincy trailed 10-0 before Dalton ran one in then hit A.J. Green for what would be the winning touchdown. At 8-3-1, they are not winning pretty, but they are winning. They have a great chance to dash the Steelers hopes this Sunday at home, and get into even better position.
11/19/14: The Bengals, admittedly, have struggled over the past few weeks while star wide receiver A.J. Green has been out or limited. So the narrative going into their road game against New Orleans was that the Bengals were finished and Andy Dalton does not play well on the road or in big moments. Well, the joke is on everyone as Cincinnati crushed the Saints 27-10. Dalton threw three touchdown passes and not interceptions while Jeremy Hill ran for 152 yards. The Bengals are back on top (barely) of the hyper-competitive AFC North with a 6-3-1 record and stay down south to face the Texans on Sunday.
11/12/14: Six teams had byes in Week 10 (and the Bengals probably wish they were one of them), so many fantasy football players had to pick up a starting quarterback. Those that picked up Bengals QB Andy Dalton probably lost their week as he had a historically bad performance against the visiting Browns last Thursday. Dalton was just 10-33 for 86 yards, no TDs and three INTs. Add those up and you get a QB Rating of 2.0. Cincinnati has now lost three games in a row to fall to 5-3-1 and it does not get any easier this Sunday when the team travels to New Orleans.
11/5/14: Every team is given one bye week during the regular season. Those that have Jacksonville or Oakland on the schedule are pretty much given two (or three if in the AFC South). Such was the case for the Bengals last Sunday. After giving up a field goal in the first quarter, the Bengals earned the next four scores and built a 19-3 lead. They ended up winning 33-23 and improved to 5-2-1 on the season. Wide receiver A.J. Green was back in the lineup. He only had three receptions for 44 yards and a score, but this is a better offense when he can play. Quick turnaround for Cincinnati, as they host the Browns on the Thursday Night Game.
10/29/14: The Bengals may have less wins than Baltimore or Pittsburgh, but they have less losses, and thanks to a tie with Carolina a few weeks ago, continue to sit at the top of the AFC North. The Bengals beat the Ravens for the second time this season, giving them the inside track for the division lead at the midway point of the season. The Bengals snuck out a win with a one-yard touchdown run by QB Andy Dalton with under a minute remaining to beat the Ravens 47-24 last Sunday. It was another game with A.J. Green, who may be back this week when the 1-7 Jaguars come to town.
10/22/14: Just a few weeks ago, the Bengals were considered one of the best teams in the NFL. They got wiped out by New England, tied Carolina, and then blown out of Indianapolis by the Colts last Sunday, 27-0. This was a case of the Bengals offense sorely missing their best player, wide receiver A.J. Green. Green's absence creates a huge void that QB Andy Dalton and the rest of the offense cannot overcome. In fact, the Bengals only generated 158 combined yards and no points against the Colts. The loss dropped the Bengals to 3-2-1, and 2.5 games behind the AFC North leading Baltimore Ravens, who, incidentally, visit Cincy this Sunday.
10/15/14: The Bengals bounced back from that nasty drubbing at the hands of the New England Patriots in Week 5 to earn a 37-37 draw against the visiting Carolina Panthers last Sunday. This was one of the most interesting games of the week as two division leaders exchanged blows for all five quarters, neither giving in. Cincy looked like they had the game won until Graham Gano kicked a 44 yard field goal as time expired to force overtime. The Bengals moved to 3-1-1 on the season, still good for first place in the AFC North, and head to Indianapolis to play a well-rested Colts team this Sunday.
10/8/14: Now may be a good time to put the Super Bowl victory parade plans on hold. The Bengals, who were unbeaten after four weeks, coming off of a bye, playing against a shaky New England team, came back down to earth last Sunday Night when the Patriots routed them 43-17. The Bengals defense, which had been among the best units in all of the NFL, simply could not stop the Patriots attack on either the ground or in the air. Meanwhile, the Cincinnati offense could not get much going throughout the night. But it may be good to tap the brakes a bit. The Bengals are still a top team and have to realize that they must bring their best game each week. Cincy is back home this Sunday to host the Panthers.
10/1/14: Through three games, all wins, the Bengals look like one of the best teams in the AFC, and certainly the best and most balanced in the AFC North. Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton has looked great so far this season - a nice way to start of justifying the contract extension that the club gave him in the offseason. Star wide receiver A.J. Green continues to amaze - he is certainly one of the top five wide receivers in the league. It also helps that the Bengals defense is among the best in the league. Cincy had a bye last week and are back in action Sunday night at New England.
9/24/14: Cincinnati is firing on all cylinders through three weeks of the season and are among the few teams that can boast a 3-0 record. The Tennessee Titans were the Bengals' latest victim. Cincy dominated the Titans from the opening kickoff, building a 33-0 lead before allowing the Titans to get one touchdown in garbage time late in the fourth quarter. The Bengals defense was a terror to Jake Locker, forcing two interceptions and another fumble. Cincinnati looks like they are the class of the AFC North so far and get a week to enjoy a bye.
9/17/14: Through two weeks of the season, the Cincinnati Bengals look like one of the best teams in the AFC. The Bengals are 2-0 and just finished beating up on Matt Ryan and the Falcons. The Falcons were considered a good bounce back team after beating New Orleans in overtime in Week 1, but they were not match for the Bengals. QB Andy Dalton continued his underrated play with 252 yards passing and a touchdown, while Gio Bernard rand for 90 yards, added 79 in receiving and scored a touchdown. The Bengals host the Tennessee Titans this Sunday in an early game.
8/28/14: The Bengals, over the last couple of weeks, came to an agreement with linebacker Vontaze Burfict on a reported $20 million contract. Except the didn't. Apparently, the agreement is on paper but Burfict has not signed. He has been battling a stomach virus that has kept him off the practice field for several days. The Bengals do not consider it a done deal until the contract has been signed. Most believe the deal will be finalized soon and that the delay is not an attempt to continue negotiating. But the team and fans probably want to get this finalized quickly and move on to defending their AFC North title.
8/21/14: Who says Andy Dalton can't light it up. He certainly knows how to manhandle the New York Jets and he proved that again in the preseason last weekend. In less than a half of work, he went 8-8 for 144 yards and a TD. It is not his first time torching Rex Ryan's 'vaunted' defense. Last October he humiliated the Jets with five touchdowns and 325 yards in the air, when the Bengals trounced New York 49-9. The Jets have a decent team and could be get a playoff birth. No doubt Dalton would love to line up against them when the games really matter in January, and get that monkey off of his back.
8/14/14: News emerged last week that the Bengals have finally committed to starting QB Andy Dalton. Sort of. The team and player agreed to a long term contract potentially worth over $100 million. The reality is that the contract is similar in structure to the one that the 49ers signed with Collin Kaepernick. There is really only two guaranteed years and the Bengals can release him after that without penalty. By that measure, the deal is really worth about $25 million for two years. But do not feel bad for Dalton. In a worst case scenario, he will make more in two years than most people make in a lifetime.
8/7/14: The Bengals made a big change to their offense last season when they drafted running back Giovani Bernard and he blossomed into a viable number one back during his rookie year. He still split time with veteran BenJarvis Green Ellis, but certainly established himself by the end of the season. The Law Firm may be taking another back seat this season as Bernard is likely to get most of the work. It is entirely possible that the Bengals trade or Green Ellis before the start of the regular season. If he is cut, Green Ellis is likely to find a landing spot fairly quickly.
7/31/14: The Cincinnati Bengals have the talent and coaching to repeat as the AFC North champs this coming season, even if most of the media is focused on all of their division rivals. But training camp got off to a rough start with cornerback Leon Hall and defensive tackle Geno Atkins both on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. The good news is that neither is expected to be on the PUP list very long, as they are both recovering from injuries that ended their respective 2013 seasons. When healthy, the Bengals have a strong, but underrated defense.
7/24/14: There is a lot to like about the Cincinnati Bengals this season, even if the national perception of the team is not as positive as others. That has more to do with organizational reputation than the actual team. The Bengals are likely the class of the AFC North again. They have been to the playoffs for the past three years and return most of their core pieces. Of course, many experts think that the Steeler or Ravens are set for a resurgence, or that the Browns can make a big leap this season. That being said, Cincy is in better shape than the other teams in the AFC North and should be able to capture another division championship.
7/17/14: The ongoing saga between the Bengals and QB Andy Dalton continues. Dalton wants a long-term extension and the organization seems unconvinced that he is their long-term solution at QB (despite taking them to three straight playoff appearances). Dalton has some big supporters, though. New offensive coordinator Hue Jackson claims they are 'joined at the hip' and wants Dalton to be with him for a long time. Star wide receiver A.J. Green adds that he 'only wants to catch balls' from Dalton. Those are good endorsements to have, but ultimately, the Bengals' brain trust must decide what Dalton's future with the team will be.
7/10/14: The Bengals took advantage of a down year in the AFC North last season to win the division and make the playoffs for the third consecutive year. They were knocked out in the first round, again, and many 'experts' think that their window is closing. The Ravens are healthy now, the Steelers look rebuilt and rejuvenated, and the Browns have added a lot of talent in free agency (but are still the Browns). By that logic, the Bengals are on the brink of taking a step back. That being said, the team still has a solid defense and an offense that can run up the score on just about anyone.
7/3/14: Running back James Wilder Jr. went to Florida State as one of the highest prized recruits just a few years ago. He played at FSU for three seasons, enjoying decent success while splitting time with Devonta Freeman. He is now with the Bengals and is on the dreaded bubble for making the roster as a rookie. The Bengals are loaded at running back, with Giovanni Bernard as the top dog. The Bengals also drafted Jeremy Hill in the second round, so he will get a long look. Wilder is more likely to be on the practice squad to start his career. That is not necessarily a bad thing as plenty of players have graduated from practice squad and had successful careers.
6/26/14: Bengals' fans may not have much faith in QB Andy Dalton. Likewise for the media and bloggers who troll for reasons to complain. Now maybe the coaching staff is losing a bit of faith as well. Despite leading the Bengals to the playoffs in each of his first three seasons as a pro (as a second round draft pick, no less), the new offense looks like a more ground-based attack. The Bengals do have stud running back Giovanni Bernard on hand, so it makes since to give him the ball more often. Also, defenses are stressing pass defense, so running the ball can be more effective. Just remember that Dalton is a quality QB. Maybe not elite, but certainly in the top half.
6/19/14: It is funny how quickly people forget. The Bengals have been to the last three playoffs, all under then-OC Jay Gruden. Gruden oversaw the development of wide receiver A.J Green and ushered a young Andy Dalton into the league as a rookie QB. Gruden is now the head coach in Washington and Hue Jackson is the new OC. Jackson is focusing on making the offense more up-tempo and more aggressive. There is certainly room for improvement, and Jackson has the credibility to do that. Of course, do not forget the positive things that Gruden brought to the team, and leaving the offense in much better shape than when he got there.
6/12/14: In light of the contract that San Francisco and their quarterback, Colin Kaepernick just finalized, it is fair to look at the next batch of big QB contracts to come up. In that group sits Andy Dalton of the Bengals. He has taken the team to the playoffs in each of his three seasons, but has not established himself as among the top QBs in the game and has not played particularly well in the playoffs. He is entering his fourth season with the team and is reportedly looking for about $18 million per year. That seems like an awful lot of money for Dalton. He is good, but giving him such money will take away talent from other roster spots.
6/6/14: Darqueze Dennard was one of the highest rated cornerbacks coming out of college and that was a big reason the Cincinnati Bengals used a first round draft pick on the youngster. But Dennard is smart enough to understand that he may not get much playing time this year since the Bengals already have Terence Newman, Adam Jones, and Leon Hall on the roster. He is apparently at peace with the fact that he is the low man on the totem pole right now and believes his time will come. He is right. It may not be in his rookie season, but these veterans all have contracts that expire soon or may well retire. Dennard will get his moment, and the Bengals hope that moment is for many years.
5/29/14: When a coach leaves, the players often (finally) air their grievances towards that coach's system. Of course that is usually when they did not have much success. The Bengals have been successful for the past several years and made it to the playoffs in all three of Jay Gruden's seasons as offensive coordinator. So it is interesting to hear the story now where the players are excited about new OC Hue Jackson's offensive philosophy. They expect to be more up-tempo, which offensive players like because it creates more scoring opportunities. It also comes with more risk. Don't forget, guys, that the team has been successful before Jackson, and he is just building on Gruden's work.
5/22/14: The Bengals ended up being the team to draft former Alabama QB A.J. McCarron, he who led the Crimson Tide to consecutive national championships at the college level. McCarron's slide to the fifth round contradicts what he claims many teams told him leading up to the draft - that he would be selected in the late first or early second round. Recent reports imply that teams were turned off by a cocky attitude. If nothing else, critics of the Bengals now have someone they can call upon when they start complaining about starter Andy Dalton (even though he has taken the team to three straight playoff appearances).
5/15/14: The Bengals, in the first round of the NFL draft, did not make a big splash. They did not trade up or down from their designated 24th slot. They did not get a Johnny Manziel, but did not waste a pick either. Instead, they may have gotten the best bargain in the draft with cornerback Dennard Darqueze from Michigan State. Darqueze was among the highest rated corners in the draft and it is a bit surprising that he fell to 24. He will join an already strong secondary, and make life for AFC North receivers very tough for the next few years.
5/8/14: Publicly, the Bengals support Andy Dalton as their QB. He has led them to the playoffs in his first three years in the league, and, while not Peyton Manning or Drew Brees, he is a quality starter with plenty of experience. There are reports now that internally the team is considering a change at QB. Most interestingly, the slide that Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater's draft stock has taken recently may make him a candidate for the position. A few months ago, it was assumed that Bridgewater would be taken in the top five of the draft, but now it looks like he may be available at 24 when the Bengals pick.
5/1/14: To absolutely no one's surprise, the Bengals did what any team would do and picked up the fifth year option on star wide receiver A.C. Green. Green was a first round selection by the Bengals in 2011. Under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams have an option on first round draft picks for a fifth season. They have to do so by May 3, 2014, before the fourth season. Green, of course, has blossomed into one of the top five wide receivers in the NFL, so keeping him on the tam was really a no-brainer. Even for a team that once traded up to take Ka-Jana Carter first overall and bet the farm on QB Akili Smith.
4/24/14: No one has really considered the Bengals as a legitimate possibility to bolt town and take up a new residence (such as in Los Angeles), and that will continue to be the case for some time. The team and Hamilton County agreed to a new stadium lease agreement that will keep the Bengals around, improve the stadium, and allow the Bengals to play home games away from Cincinnati. That does not give the Bengals carte blanche to play in London (or elsewhere), but does allow for traveling home games on a 'periodic' basis. It is a win-win for both sides, and Bengals fans should be happy too.
4/17/14: The debate around the Bengals continues to be the ability and future of starting quarterback Andy Dalton. Dalton is entering the final season of his rookie contract and would like a long-term extension, and even his coach, Marvin Lewis, is encouraging the team to get a deal done soon. Detractors say that Dalton is not a great QB and has crumbled in the playoffs. Supporters point to the fact that he has led the Bengals to the playoffs in each of his first three seasons and is just coming into his own. For his part, Dalton worked on his throwing motion with acclaimed QB coach Tom House and looks to prove his detractors wrong.
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
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Cincinnati Bengals Past Games Schedule and Cincinnati Bengals Scores
|Dec 28, 2014||Cincinnati Bengals - Pittsburgh Steelers||17 - 27|
|Dec 22, 2014||Denver Broncos - Cincinnati Bengals||28 - 37|
|Dec 14, 2014||Cincinnati Bengals - Cleveland Browns||30 - 0|
|Dec 7, 2014||Pittsburgh Steelers - Cincinnati Bengals||42 - 21|
|Nov 30, 2014||Cincinnati Bengals - Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14 - 13|
|Nov 16, 2014||Cincinnati Bengals - New Orleans Saints||27 - 10|
|Nov 2, 2014||Jacksonville Jaguars - Cincinnati Bengals||23 - 33|
|Oct 19, 2014||Cincinnati Bengals - Indianapolis Colts||0 - 27|
|Oct 12, 2014||Carolina Panthers - Cincinnati Bengals||37 - 37|
|Oct 5, 2014||Cincinnati Bengals - New England Patriots||17 - 43|
|Sep 21, 2014||Tennessee Titans - Cincinnati Bengals||7 - 33|
|Sep 14, 2014||Atlanta Falcons - Cincinnati Bengals||10 - 24|
|Sep 7, 2014||Cincinnati Bengals - Baltimore Ravens||23 - 16|
|Aug 24, 2014||Preseason: Cincinnati Bengals - Arizona Cardinals||19 - 13|
|Aug 16, 2014||Preseason: New York Jets - Cincinnati Bengals||25 - 17|