2013 CINCINNATI BENGALS PREVIEW
May 29, 2013INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
2013 CINCINNATI BENGALS PREVIEW
Last Year: 10-6, second in the AFC North..lost in AFC Wild Card
Head Coach: Marvin Lewis, 11th Year
We are waiting for the Bengals to make a breakthrough. They have come close lately but just can’t seem to get to the next level. QB Andy Daulton has led Cincinnati to the playoffs the past two seasons only to see his production numbers drop. The Houston Texans have Daulton’s number…in two games Daulton has zero touchdowns, four interceptions and his passer rating has fallen farther than the stock market crash of 1929 (48.6). Daulton must be given credit though. He has led the Bengals to the playoffs in his first two seasons and has thrown 20+ touchdowns each year…the first QB to do so in NFL history.
The Bengals added to Daulton’s arsenal by drafting TE Tyler Eifert out of Notre Dame and RB Giovani Bernard from North Carolina. Those two will help Daulton against the league’s better defense’s and will also take pressure away from WR A.J. Green. Other weapons in the Bengals offense include RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who rushed for a career high 1,094 yards, TE Jermaine Gresham, WR’s Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones.
The Bengals defense was as good as any over the final eight games of the season allowing only 12.8 points per game and had 31 sacks. Mike Zimmer’s aggressive defense registered 51 sacks, a club record. Now they have former Steelers LB James Harrison, who will have a chip on his shoulder when the two teams meet this season. The front seven is solid with Carlos Dunlap, Domata Peko, Geno Atkins and Michael Johnson across the front line. Harrison will be joined by Rey Maualuga and Vontaze Burfict to form a solid group at LB. Leon Hall leads the defensive backfield along with Taylor Mays, Dre Kirkpatrick, Terrance Newman and Reggie Nelson.
Marvin Lewis is 0-4 in the post season. He has a strong core in place to make another playoff run and has added more pieces to the puzzle. Now the question is, can they finally break down the door?
2012 in Review:
TOTAL OFFENSE: 332.7 (22ND)
RUN OFFENSE: 109.1 (18TH)
PASS OFFENSE: 223.6 (17TH)
TOTAL DEFENSE: 319.7 (6TH)
RUN DEFENSE: 107.2 (12TH)
PASS DEFENSE: 212.5 (7TH)
1 -- Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame; 2 (37) - Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina; 2 (53) Margus Hunt, DE, SMU; 3 (84) Shawn Williams, SS, Georgia; 4 (118) - Sean Porter, OLB, Texas A&M; 5 (156) - Tanner Hawkinson, OT, Kansas; 6 (190) - Rex Burkhead, RB, Nebraska; 6 (197) - Cobi Hamilton, WR, Arkansas; 7 (240) - Reid Fragel, OT, Ohio State; 7 (251) - T.J. Johnson, C, South Carolina
Top Pick Analysis: Mike Brown got the best tight end in the draft in Notre Dame's Eifert as well as a back who can give the running game some juice outside the tackles in Bernard. The Bengals then turned to defense by taking lengthy SMU defensive end Hunt, a 6-foot-8 player who could create havoc in the passing lanes, along with Williams, a safety who projects on special teams early and has the potential to be a starter down the line.
Best Value Pick: Porter is undersized but the Bengals need an outside linebacker and he is an athletic guy with the short-area quickness and the football IQ to switch from playing the run to checking a slot.
Questionable Calls: Bernard wasn't the best running back in the draft but best fit for what Cincinnati was looking for. "Need" is never the best talent evaluator, though.
Summary: Andy Dalton is going to run out of excuses soon. Eifert is a mismatch machine and Bernard's explosiveness should keep opposing defenses honest. Now it's time for Dalton to stop using A.J. Green as his default setting when things go wrong and start getting some of his other pieces involved.
FINAL GRADE: A-
Undrafted rookie free agent signings: Indiana DT Larry Black Jr.; Stanford CB Terrence Brown; New Mexico-Highlands OLB Jordan Campbell; NW Missouri State DE Travis Chappelear; Southern Illinois OLB Jayson Dimanche; Eastern Kentucky WR Tyrone Goard; Auburn RB Onterio McCalebb; Michigan WR Roy Roundtree; Oklahoma State PK-P Quinn Sharp; Minnesota CB Troy Stoudermire; Auburn OL John Sullen; Virginia Tech LB Bruce Taylor
Sept. 8 at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m.
Sept. 16 PITTSBURGH STEELERS, 8:40 p.m.
Sept. 22 GREEN BAY PACKERS, 1 p.m.
Sept. 29 at Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m.
Oct. 6 NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, 1 p.m.
Oct. 13 at Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m.
Oct. 20 at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m.
Oct. 27 N.Y. JETS, 4:05 p.m.
Oct. 31 at Miami Dolphins, 8:25 p.m.
Nov. 10 at Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m.
Nov. 17 CLEVELAND BROWNS, 1 p.m.
Nov. 24 BYE
Dec. 1 at San Diego Chargers, 4:25 p.m.
Dec. 8 INDIANAPOLIS COLTS, 1 p.m.
Dec. 15 at Pittsburgh Steelers, 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 22 MINNESOTA VIKINGS, 1 p.m.
Dec. 29 BALTIMORE RAVENS, 1 p.m.
Unsigned Draft Pick