2017 NFL Preseason Outlooks: CINCINNATI BENGALS

2017 NFL Preseason Outlooks: CINCINNATI BENGALS

CINCINNATI BENGALS (AFC North)

2016 record: 6-9-1 ( 4-2 in division)

KEY ADDITIONS: (R) WR John Ross, CB Bene Benwikere,  LB Kevin Minter, (R) Joe Mixon

KEY DEPARTURES: LB Rey Maualuga, RB Rex Burkhead

2016 SEASON RECAP

The Cincinnati Bengals went 6-9-1 in the 2016 season. Thats far off the goals they had set for themselves but after losing talent like Mohammed Sanu and Marvin Jones in free agency a offensive decline isnt as surprising as one would think. Andy Dalton passed for over 4,200 yards but only logged 18 TDs. WR A.j. Green fell short of another 1,000 yard receiving season by 36 yards after a late season injury ended his year.

The once deadly duo of Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard wasn’t living up to the hype even before Bernard tore his ACL in late November. WR Brandon LaFell proved to be a solid signing. LaFell hauled in 64 re 862 yards and a team leading 6 TDs. The team will need to make some huge strides if they have any hopes of competing with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC North.

2017 SEASON REVIEW

The Bengals added Draft pick Joe Mixon to the running back room and speedster John Ross to the receiving room. These additions should make them more explosive in 2017. The return of injuried guys like A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard also will help. The team made the decision to release LB Rey Maualuga so LB Vontaze Burfict will have to shoulder more of the load on defense than he already was.

The team will look to utilize TE Tyler Kroft in 2 tight end sets with pro bowl TE Tyler Eifert. Offense aside, defensive guys like Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap up front will have to get a solid push to help the defense get off the field. They allowed too many extended drives last season.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

QB Andy Dalton, WR A.J. Green, (R) WR John Ross, CB Dre Kirkpatrick, (R) RB Joe Mixon

2017 RECORD PREDICTION

9 – 7