Reasons why Bengals can win 2012 playoff
After Carson Palmer’s, the Cincinnati Bengals entered a rebuilding period with former 2ndround pick out of Texas Christian, Andy Dalton taking helm of the offense. Andy Dalton led the Cincinnati Bengals to playoffs in his rookie season only to lose to the Houston Texans, but this year is different since they are a much improved team.
And while they might not poses talent of other playoffs teams such as the Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos and New England Patriots, the Cincinnati Bengals have always performed well under pressure.
So, here are four reasons to why the Cincinnati Bengals can win the playoffs:
Last year was supposed to be a rebuilding phase for the Cincinnati Bengals, who traded the disgruntled Carson Chandler. By that stage, the Cincinnati Bengals had also parted ways with several key members of the 2009 AFC North title winning team, while others had simply lost their spark.
With Andy Dalton the Cincinnati Bengals got a fresh start and equipped him with offensive weapons by drafting first-round pick A.J. Green in 2011 drafts.
However Cincinnati Bengals’ 31-10 loss to the Houston Texans showed that the 2011 team wasn’t ready…which would have been an unrealistic expectation considering no rookie quarterback in NFL history has ever led his team all the way through to the Super Bowl title.
2. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green
Rookies Andy Dalton and A.J. Green’s inexperienced showed during the 2011 playoffs. A.J. Green had only five receptions for 47 yards, and although Andy Dalton threw for 257 yards he was picked-off three times in the first-round loss to the Houston Texans.
While Andy Dalton may still qualify as an elite quarterback, he make A.J. Green make an elite duo.
The second-year pro A.J. Green is already listed amongst the league’s top receivers. Currently, A.J. Green ranks second in the league in terms of receiving touchdowns and eight for receiving yards.
Considering their improvement is the team’s improvement this could transpire at all levels for the Cincinnati Bengals.
3. Improved run blocking
The Cincinnati Bengals offensive line struggled in terms of run blocking after ranking 20th in the league last season.
Running back Cedric Benson registered over 1,000 rushing yards last season. But after the front office failed to find a solution towards making holes for Cedric Benson, the Cincinnati Bengals let him walkaway as a free agent, instead signing BenJarvus Green-Ellis to the roster. The Cincinnati Bengals also selected offensive guard Kevin Zeitler in the first-round of 2012 drafts to bolster the offensive line.
Subsequently, the Cincinnati Bengals moved up to seventh ranking in run blocking in the past week.
While Andy Dalton and A.J. Green might be primarily running the offense, BenJarvus Green-Ellis has been vital in spelling the air attack and changing the pace of the game.
4. Pass Rush
The Cincinnati Bengals’ defensive line may not feature many big names, but it’s definitely earned a spot amongst the best in the league. Third-year pro Geno Atkins is leading all defensive tackles in NFL with 10.5 sacks this season.
A strong pass rush is essential towards combatting elite quarterbacks. Seeing how it’s become increasingly difficult to blanket receivers in the secondary, the only way to go is by throwing off an opposing air attack. Pressuring the quarterback could result in faulty throws likely resulting in an interception.
Moreover, considering the playoffs picture features quarterbacks Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck and Matt Schaub, the Cincinnati Bengals could use all the help they could get out of the front seven.