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.
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.
1) Cin: Carson Palmer
2) Bal: Joe Flacco
I'd take Carson's experience over Flacco, his character over Big Ben, his skill over Delhomme, and his intelligence over all of them.
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.
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.
3) Cle: Ben Watson, Robert Royal, and Alex Smith
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.
1) Cle: Joe Thomas
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.
1) Bal: Jared Gaither
3): Pit: Max Starks
Gaither was great last year at left tackle, at a poition suited for his size he's scary.
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