NFL Preview Series: Cincinnati Bengals

Byron Dixon| BKD TV

The Cincinnati Bengals made the playoffs for the fifth time in the last six seasons and this was the fourth straight year in a row they made the playoffs. The problem is this team has still not won a playoff game since 1990. With head coach Marvin Lewis at the helm this has to be the season it changes or major turnover should be in effect. Playing in the wide open AFC could give them a legit shot if they make it back to the playoffs.

While We Were Away: Bengal fans must feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Much like Murray waking up and reliving the same day over and over again, the Cincinnati faithful begins every single season knowing that it’s going to be the same. The Bengals will look great at times during the year, earn a playoff spot, and ultimately lose right away in the playoffs, as a helpless Andy Dalton fails to complete routine passes. Unfortunately for the Bengals, they’re locked into Dalton for now. They had no choice but to surround him with better players this off-season, but they didn’t exactly accomplish that goal. In fact, the front office did nothing but acquire current depth, so if everyone stays healthy, Dalton’s supporting cast won’t be any better than it was in 2014. Then again, that would mean that A.J. Green would be on the field. Dalton had Green in his other playoff embarrassments, but not the most recent one at Indianapolis because of a concussion. That, of course, was a huge deal, given that Green is one of the top receivers in the NFL. He just had his worst season, statistically, and he still managed to accumulate 1,041 receiving yards and six touchdowns in 13 games.

2015 Season Outlook: The Bengals are a solid regular season team and that can only get you but so far if you have done nothing when it really counts. The fact of the matter is they still have A.J. Green who is one of the best players in the NFL and has to play well for this team to get over the hump. This season as it does most is the question of can Andy Dalton make plays in winning time? Time will tell but that is where the defense may need to pick their guy up ad make some plays and create opportunists for this offense.

2015 Record: 9-7

This is no misprint, looking at the previous previews for the Ravens and Steelers both teams finish at 9-7 as well so this would mean a three way tie atop the AFC North. This means whoever plays best in divisional contest will make it to the playoffs, these west coast trips are never easy and the Bengals have a few on their schedule as well. All in all they will be in competition for a playoff birth, but like always they have no problem making in to the playoffs the question is can they win a game? Time will tell.

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