Cincinnati Bengals Team Profile 2016

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?

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Team Profiles- Cincinnati Bengals

Team Profiles- Cincinnati Bengals by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

Marvin Lewis has been the head coach for the Cincinnati Bengals since 2003, making him the 2nd longest tenured head coach in the NFL, behind only NE Bill Belichick. The Bengals battled the Colts 26-10 in the first round of the playoffs, losing 26-10. This was the Bengals fourth straight lose in the playoffs. I guess you could call them the “Buffalo Bills’ of the playoffs. (Between 1991 and 1994, Buffalo reached the Superbowl 4 straight times, and lost 4 straight times.) Lewis has a record of 40-23 over the past 4 years, so unlike HC John Fox, he won’t lose his job for not winning the Superbowl.

2015 Team Outlook – Every year the Bengals have to contend with the Steelers and the Ravens in the AFC North. All three of these teams ended the 2014 season over .500, and all went the playoffs. (The Ravens beat the Steelers in Week 1 of this playoffs, but lost the Patriots in Week 2.) Both the Steelers and Ravens have quarterbacks that have won a Superbowl, so this will again be a very competitive division in 2015. (Oh, the Browns are in the AFC North as well.)

2015 Fantasy Outlook –

QB– The Bengals starting quarterback is Andy Dalton, and he reminds me of Scott Mitchell, from the Detroit Lions QB -1994 to 1997. Detroit’s big receiver at the time was WR Herman Moore, and Mitchell would lock in on Moore, waiting for him to get open. When the opposing defense came crashing in around around him, he’d let the ball fly, usually with disastrous results. Dalton ended the 2014 season with 19 TDs and 17 INTs, worst in the NFL for a starting QB. Dalton locks in on big Cincinnati receiver A J Green every game, usually with disastrous results. It’s one of the reasons no other receiver in Cincinnati can make a name for himself. In 2014, The Browns really had Dalton’s number! In Week 10, he went 10 of 33 for only 86 yards, 0 TDs and 3 INTs. In Week 15, Dalton went 14 of 24 for only 117 yards, 0 TDs and 1 INT. Although there are plenty of teams in the NFL with worst quarterback situations, the Bengals will never go far with with Dalton. Fantasy owners won’t go far with him either.

RBs– The Bengals have one of the best one-two punch running back combos in the league. Prior to the 2014 season, RB Gio Bernard was touted as “the main running back threat” in Cincinnati. Rookie RB Jeremy Hill however, drafted in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, wasn’t going to let any opportunity slip away, and he ended the 2014 season as the 9th ranked running back in the league. Hill totaled 1376 yards from scrimmaged and scored 10 TDs. RB Gio Bernard also had an impressive year, ranking 18th among RBs, with 1081 total yard and scoring 7 TDs. This young dynamic duo will be fun to watch in 2015.

As previously mentioned, the wide receiver that Dalton can’t help but lock in on every game is 6’4″ WR A J Green, drafted by the Bengals fourth overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. In Green’s rookie season, he recorded four 100-yard games and led all NFL rookies in receptions and receiving yards, catching 65 passes for 1,057 yards in 15 games. His seven touchdown receptions was second among rookies. Unfortunately WR Green was injured for most of the 2014, missing 4 of the 16 regular season match ups, and played at less than 100% for the entire second half. He ended the season ranked #23 among wide receivers with 1041 receiving yards and 6 TDs. One of the wide receivers ignored in Cincy’s offense is WR Mohamed Sanu, who ended the 2014 season with 821 yards and 5 TDs. Even these meager stats were skewed in large part because Dalton had to throw to someone in WR Green’s absence. 2 of WR Sanu’s 5 TDs, came in games in which WR Green had to sit out. Sanu’s other 3 TDs came in games in which WR Green was active, but not productive due to a concussion he suffered, or a bicep injury Green sustained late in the season. WR Marvin Jones is listed as the Bengals #2 wide receiver, but he’s only played in 11 games since 2012. UPDATE: Re-signed WR Brandon Tate and sign former Raider WR Denarius Moore.

TEs– The only TE offense weapon listed on the Bengals roster right now is Tyler Eifert, because Jermaine Gresham is currently a free agent. Neither is a weapon really, because they too are not involved enough in the offense. TE Gresham’s best game in 2014 came in Week 11 vs the Saints, where he had 13 yards and 2 TDs. Eifert missed almost the entire 2014 season from a week one injury.

K– Mike Nugent has been the Bengals place kicker since 2010. In 2014, he only knocked in 27 of his 34 field goal attempts, and 5 of those came in one game (week one). He’s a terrible option for fantasy owners. Cincinnati may try to replace him, as Nugent is a free agent this year.

DEF– Cincinnati usually puts a pretty strong defense on the field every year, but in 2014 they ranked #14. (They were the 5th ranked defense in 2013) Linebacker struggles played a big role in Cincinnati’s 2014 weakness versus the run and Cincinnati ranked dead last in sacks.) They will try to find help in this years draft. UPDATE: Bengals sign former GB LB A J Hawk. Sign CB Brandon Ghee and DT Pat Sims to 1 year deals.

2014 Cincinnati Fantasy Surprises – Despite QB Dalton’s erratic and poor play in 2014, he still managed to rank #18 among starting QBs. He basically beat out QB Alex Smith and a handful of rookie or back up quarterbacks in the NFL. RB Jeremy Hill was a pleasant surprise as a 2nd round drafted rookie, and should rank in the top 10 again in 2015.

2015 Free Agents that Cincinnati Needs to Address – QB Jason Campbell- RB Cedric Peerman (re-signed)- TE Jermaine Gresham-WR Dane Sanzenbacher- OT Eric Winston- OT Marshall Newhouse-G Clint Boling (re-signed)- MLB Rey Maualuga (re-signed)- CB Terence Newman-S Taylor Mays- CB Chris Lewis-Harris (re-signed)- K Mike Nugent (re-signed)

2015 NFL Draft – The early needs of Cincinnati are help on the front seven, a stronger pass-rush, getting a strong back-up QB for Dalton and help at the wide receiver position. The Bengals struggled mightily against the run last season (LB) and they couldn’t sack anyone (DL). All 3 wide receivers mentioned earlier are in contract years, and only WR A J Green is assured a roster spot in the future (WR). UPDATE: Cincinnati’s’s entire 2015 NFL Draft can be seen at this link- CINCINNATI’S DRAFT

Did You Know – that the franchise takes its name from an earlier Cincinnati Bengals team, which played from 1937–1941? The Bengals are one of the 13 NFL teams that have never won a Superbowl. Also, did you know that the team’s cheerleading squad is known as the “Ben-Gals’?

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