Safe to say the 2011 Cincinnati Bengals had a great season. I cannot think of anyone who had these Bengals playoff bound at the beginning of the season. With a rookie QB and WR, most thought it was just a typical rebuilding year for the Bengals. Last year we were introduced to the tandem of Andy Dalton and AJ Green who both had phenomenal rookie seasons after what was considered a major shake up in the team’s franchise. Kudos to Marvin Lewis for hanging in there and starting to make the turn with this franchise (once again). Often (actually always) this team plays the background to the Steelers and Ravens franchises. I think the 2012 Bengals may give fans something to be proud of in 2012. Here is more about the 2012 Cincinnati Bengals:
Fantasy Football Studs: Wide Receiver AJ was drafted in the first round by the Bengals and he did not disappoint as a rookie. 1057 yards and 7 TDs is respectable. Hopefully the sophomore slump is nonexistent for both him and Andy Dalton. Dalton had his highs and lows just like any rookie QB but he also had a respectable rookie year. Won’t jump out and say “stud” but he had a decent rookie year also.
Area of Strength: The Defense was stubborn in 2011, allowing on average 20 points per game. There is was some questions in the secondary and one change was adding former Cowboy Terrance Newman…I won’t comment on that. Another upgrade was first round draft pick Dre Kirkpatrick, CB out of Alabama. Where this defense will get really nasty is rushing the passer! I hope Big Ben, Flacco and Weeden (yep) are ready.
Area of Weakness: I hate to question the run game, but I have to admit I’m worried. Its understandable the Bengals are not the biggest fan of off the field drama possessing Cedric Benson. I’m just not really sure Benjarvis Green-Ellis is the answer. I think BGE has bursts of greatness. However sometimes he has been just “so-so”. Last year for the Patriots BGE did not have his best year. Granted, when you play on a team with Tom Brady and remarkable TEs and Wes Welker, its hard to find a need to run. Still last year BGE only had 667 yards and a respectable 11 TDs. I ‘m sure he would be utilized more here in Cincy but I’m still a bit concerned….
2012 Marquee Matchups: They have a pretty rough schedule but it’s in patches. December looks to be what could make or break the Bengals. Weeks 13-17 the Bengals play in order: San Diego, Dallas, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore. It will be interesting to see how many of those games result in a Bengals W.
All Things Cincinnati Bengals: There are a few ways to keep up with the Bengals, here are a few:
Apps: Cincinnati Bengals Mobile for iPhone (by Bengals/YinzCam) ; Cincinnati.com Football ( by Cincinnati.com)
Fan Clubs: In addition to the Cincinnati Bengals official fan club found on bengals.com under fanzone, the Bengals have 2 other cool fan clubs we like: Bengals United Fan Club http://www.bengalsunited.com/ and Who Dey Fanshttp://whodeyfans.com/