Cincinnati Bengals Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles
Marvin Lewis is one of the head coaches on the NFL hot seat…..2016…2015…2014….2013…etc etc etc. If I had a dollar every time I heard that Marvin Lewis was on the hot seat, I could afford to pay Marvin Lewis! In 2015, the Bengals got out to a franchise-best 8-0 start with a 31-10 win over the Cleveland Brown. They would go on however and lose 4 of their next 7 games but still winning their division and clinching a playoff berth. The Bengals lost to the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers 18-16 in the Wild Card round, making them the first franchise in NFL history to lose five straight opening round playoff games….which brings us back to……Marvin Lewis is one of the head coaches on the NFL hot seat.
2016 Team Outlook– The AFC North Division is comprised of Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Cleveland. The only good gamble to make before the season begins….is to bet that Cleveland won’t win the division. Since 2002, Pittsburgh has won the division 6 times, with Cincinnati & Baltimore both having 4 titles a piece.
2016 Fantasy Outlook- The Bengals are loaded with fantasy football stars. RBs Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard, TE Tyler Eifert, and WR AJ Green are a few names that I know that you are familiar with. QB Andy Dalton isn’t exceptional for fantasy football owners, only cracking the top 12 among NFL quarterbacks once since being drafted in 2011, but is a good #2 QB.
QB– Bengal’s starting quarterback Andy Dalton, ended 2015 with a broken thumb and as the 19th ranked QB. Dalton does however play in the AFC North Division with teams whose defenses have tanked in recent years. Facing pass defenses twice a season, that ranked- 27th ( CLEV), 25th (BALT) and 15th ( PITT), can pad stats nicely. Former Alabama QB AJ McCarron played adequately enough in his 4+ starts filling in for injured Dalton, but he won’t take over the starting job anytime soon.
RBs- The Bengals have one of the best running back combos in the NFL. It isn’t often that two backs from the same team rank in the top 25 of running backs in the same season. For 2015, Hill ranked #14 and Bernard ranked #22. Jeremy Hill had 223 carries for 794 rushing yards and Gio Bernard had 154 carries for 730 yards. Gio also added 392 receiving yards and 3 receiving TDs. Both are young players, and unless one suffers an unfortunate injury, Cincinnati’s back field is set for another season.
WRs– AJ Green (1st round-4th overall) was selected in the 2011 NFL Draft, the same year Andy Dalton was selected ( 2nd round- 35th overall). Only four full seasons into their careers, Andy Dalton and AJ Green rank among the NFL’s top pass-and-catch duos. Dalton and Green have hooked up 324 times for 4,735 yards in their first four seasons, the top marks by any duo. Their 33 touchdown catches match the mark with Miami’s Dan Marino and Mark Clayton. Green has had at least 10 TD receptions in 3 of his past 4 seasons and joined Randy Moss as the only player with 1,000 yards receiving in each of their first five seasons. In 2015 WR Marvin Jones was a healthy Marvin Jones, playing in all 16 games and ended as the #39 overall wide receiver in the NFL. Mohamed Sanu had zero receiving touchdowns in 2015, but did have 2 rushing TDs. UPDATE: Marvin Jones signs with Detroit.
TEs– If only Tyler Eifert could stay healthy. Eifert has never played an entire NFL since being drafted in 2013. He played 15 games in 2013, only played 1 game in 2014, and only 13 games played in 2015. Eifert’s 13 receiving touchdowns in only 13 games last season was tops in the NFL. ( NE Gronk and WASH Jordan Reed both tied with 11 TDs)
K– Mike Nugent was a free agent in 2015, but signed a two-year, $4 million contract on Mar. 8, 2015. He ended 2015 as the #15 kicker for 2015, making 23 of 28 field goal attempts. He also didn’t seem to mind the extra yardage added to extra points (48 of 49)
DEF- For 2015, The Bengals were the 10th best defense vs the pass, and the 8th best defense vs the rush, ranking them 10th overall. This was an improvement over their #14 ranking in 2014 (They were the 5th ranked defense in 2013) Cincinnati has a load of defensive players headed for free agency. UPDATE: WLB Vontaze Burfict suspended 3 games for multiple violations of the league’s player-safety rules…….Bengals re-sign CB Pacman Jones
2015 Cincinnati Fantasy Surprises– RB Jeremy Hill’s 11 rushing touch downs for 2015 was the most in the NFL ( tied with ATL D Freeman, MINN A Peterson and Pittsburgh D Williams) As written earlier, TE Tyler Eifert’s 13 receiving touchdowns in only 13 games last season was tops in the NFL.
2016 Free Agents that Cincinnati Needs to Address– WR Marvin Jones (signed w/ DET) , WR Mohamed Sanu (signed w/ ATL), MLB Vincent Rey, DT Pat Sims, DE Wallace Gilberry, DT Brandon Thompson, OLB Emmanuel Lamur, OT Eric Winston SS Reggie Nelson, CB Pacman Jones (re-signed) , CB Leon Hall, RT Andre Smith, FS George Iloka,
2016 NFL Draft– Although Cincinnati has two important wide receivers headed for free agency, and they could be crippled by the number of defensive players that they could lose. Keeping the Bengal’s defense in the top 10 again could begin with the 2016 NFL Draft. Their needs include: nose tackle, linebacker, and center. Cincinnati currently has the 24th overall pick in the upcoming draft. CINCINNATI’S 2015 DRAFT
Did You Know – Paul Brown, the founder and longtime Head Coach of the Cleveland Browns also founded the Cincinnati Bengals?
Team home page: www.bengals.com