The Bengals organization couldn’t have asked for a better rookie season out of both Andy Dalton and A.J. Green. Is there room for improvement in 2012?
What a way to start the season. Cincinnati will travel to Baltimore to play the hard-nosed Ravens in a Monday Night Football extravaganza.
As it stands the NFL odds have the Bengals as seven-point underdogs at most sportsbooks.
The combo of Dalton and Green was lethal, even with both players being rookies. Dalton looked poised for such a young signal caller and immediately earned the respect from his teammates.
Green was one of the most exciting players to watch in 2011, period. He had 65 receptions for 1,057 yards and caught seven touchdown passes in what was one of the best rookie seasons we’ve ever seen from a wideout.
To address a need at running back, the Bengals decided to go after BenJarvus Green-Ellis and he steps right in as the starter. He’ll be backed up by Bernard Scott and Brian Leonard.
It wasn’t only the offense that made splashes last season, though.
In all actuality, it was Cincinnati’s defense that really impressed. The Bengals were ranked in the top ten in both defending the pass and defending the run and emerged as one of the stingiest defenses in a stacked AFC North.
Regardless of the improvements made, it’s still going to be a tough ask for Cincy to go into Baltimore and emerge with a win.
However, even if the Bengals do lose, they’ll then face one of the easiest schedules you’re liable to see in a five-game stretch for any team. After this trip they’ll play Cleveland twice, Washington, Jacksonville and Miami. We could easily see Cincinnati start with at least a 5-1 record.
No doubt the Bengals would love to kick things off with a win against a rival though.