2016 NFL Preseason Outlook: CINCINNATI BENGALS
By: Robert L. Porter Jr.
CINCINNATI BENGALS – AFC NORTH
(2015 record 12-4)
KEY ADDITIONS: WR Brandon LaFell, WR Tyler Boyd (rookie), CB William Jackson III (rookie)
KEY DEPARTURES: OC Hue Jackson, WR Mohamed Sanu, WR Marvin Jones, SS Reggie Nelson
The 2015 Cincinnati Bengals won the AFC North with a balanced team attack, QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green continued to be one of the leagues top QB-WR combos but TE Tyler Eifert burst onto the scene and made his mark in this offense in a big way. The running game with Giovanni Bernard and Jeremy Hill ranked in the top half of the league but wasn’t as potent as the year prior.
2nd in points allowed at 17.4 ppg is a testament to the defense as a whole, with guys like DT Geno Atkins and LB Vontaze Burfict leading the way, this team could be a top 5 type defense again in 2016. The loss of safety Reggie Nelson will hurt but with all the talent they have on that side of the ball it will be a huge surprise if the slack isn’t easily picked up in his absence.
The Bengals have their sights set on a Super Bowl appearance and the only thing that could be worrisome is the new blood they have at the WR position. If Brandon LaFell and Tyler Bord can come in can help this passing attack continue to thrive, the Bengals will have just as good a chance as anyone to hoist the Lombardi at seasons end.
KEY PLAYERS: DT Geno Atkins, TE Tyler Eifert, LB Vontaze Burfict, WR Brandon LaFell