FanPost

Still the Underdogs

Despite sweeping the division last year and our aggressiveness this offseason, we get no love.

A poll at NFL.com has the Bengals as the highest vote getter for "Which AFC division winner is most likely to be dethroned?", even with the Jets looming over the Pats and questions surrounding the Chargers' new personnel,

Hopefully this sentiment is shared by the rest of the teams in the league.

No one will "sleep" on us this year, but we still have the status of Underdog, especially when facing the Pats, Colts, and Saints.

While the Ravens are the popular favorite to win the North, many of us Who Dey fans expect a repeat of last year's division dominance. So lets take a broad look at our division position by position, well at least the offense for now.

QUARTERBACK

1) Cin: Carson Palmer

2) Bal: Joe Flacco

3) Pit: Ben Roethlisburger, Byron Leftwich, and Dennis Dixon

4) Cle: Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace, and Colt McCoy

I'd take Carson's experience over Flacco, his character over Big Ben, his skill over Delhomme, and his intelligence over all of them.

HALFBACK

1) Cin: Cedric Benson, Bernard Scott,  and Brian Leonard

2) Bal: Ray Rice and Willis McGahee

3) Cle: Jerome Harrison, Montario Hardesty, and Chris Jennings

4) Pit: Rashard Mendenhall, Mewelde Moore, and Jonathan Dwyer

Of all the excellent running back corps in the AFC North, the Bengals have the most well rounded. We also have the best starter in Ced.

RECEIVER

1) Cin: Chad Ochocinco, Antonio Bryant, Jordan Shipley, Matt Jones, and Andre Caldwell

2) Bal: Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason, Donte Stallworth, Mark Clayton, and Demetrius Williams/ David Reed

3) Pit: Hines Ward, Mike Wallace, Antwan Randle El, Arnaz Battle, and Emmanuel Sanders

4) Cle: Mohamed Massaquoi, Brian Robiskie, Chansi Stuckey, Josh Cribbs, and Carlton Mitchell

Looking at these lists of players, cornerbacks in the division will have their hands full this year. I say Cincy wins the arms race, though, by using a high draft pick on a pro-ready prospect and getting a major free agent.

TIGHT END

1) Cin: Jermaine Gresham, Reggie Kelly, and Chase Coffman

2) Pit: Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth, and David Johnson

3) Cle: Ben Watson, Robert Royal, and Alex Smith

4) Bal: Todd Heap, Dennis Pitta, and Ed Dickson

The toughest position on offense to rank, Cincy has the versatility, Pitt has the stability, Cleveland has the veteran competition, and Baltimore has the wildcard with two mid-round draftees.

LEFT TACKLE

1) Cle: Joe Thomas

2) Cin: Andrew Whitworth and Anthony Collins

3) Bal: Michael Oher

4) Pit: Willie Colon

Joe Thomas is the dominant left tackle of the bunch. Whit is a 'tweener and Oher is new to pro left tackle. Colon rounds out a list of top-tier tackles.

RIGHT TACKLE

1) Bal: Jared Gaither

2) Cin: Andre Smith and Dennis Roland

3): Pit: Max Starks

4) Cle: Tony Pashos/ John St. Clair

Gaither was great last year at left tackle, at a poition suited for his size he's scary.

GUARD

1) Bal: Ben Grubbs and Chris Chester

2) Cin: Bobbie Williams and Evan Mathis/ Nate Livings

3) Pit: Chris Kemoeatu and Trai Essex

4) Cle: Eric Steinbach and Floyd Womack

CENTER

1) Bal: Matt Birk

2) Cin: Kyle Cook

3) Pit: Justin Hartwig/ Maurkice Pouncey

4) Cle: Alex Mack

Cook's performance last year against excellent nose tackles and pass-rushers puts him just below the veteran of the group, Matt Birk. Alex Mack played well last year but could rise up these rankings this year.

I'll update soon to include the defense... time for band practice

 

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Cincy Jungle's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Cincy Jungle's writers or editors.

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