Bengals Early Bird Special: Taking a Deeper Look At The Offense Up To Now

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 16: Brian Leonard #40 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs with the ball during the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Paul Brown Stadium on October 16, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals won 27-17. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Good morning everyone! Time to rise and shine. Grab yourself a nice hot cup of coffee, or as in my case an entire pitcher of coffee, and something to eat while you get ready to catch up on the latest Bengals news.

After six games the Bengals are 4-2. Now let's be honest, did many of us actually think the Bengals would have four wins after six games? I'll be honest, I know I didn't. I had them winning five games at most this season, which still technically could happen. But I have a feeling that that won't be the case.

Going into the season the running game was expected to be the catalyst for the offense. But that hasn't been the case thus far.

Andy Dalton has looked like something special so far. During the preseason Dalton looked like a rookie who was no where near ready to operate as a quarterback for a professional football team. He looked more like he belonged in the Canadian Football League or something. Instead, Dalton has started off the season on fire.

During his first game of the regular season Dalton got off to a quick start, but was forced to leave the game after the first half due to injury. Ever since that game he has only looked like a true rookie for an entire game once. And that respectively was against the San Francisco 49ers. Other than that one blip, Dalton has looked solid out there. I feel as if you can't ask more from a rookie quarterback.

As for the running game, well it's hit or miss with them. As a whole they have been average, at best. Cedric Benson has been more inconsistent than recent memory serves. With Benson you either get 100 or more yards or you barely get 50-60 yards. As the season goes on, one would hope that Benson and company would find some more consistency. 

As for the wide receivers, I think they are performing above expectations, despite losing Jordan Shipley for the season. A.J. Green has done an admirable job as the teams primary receiver. Jermaine Gresham has carried his strong rookie campaign over to his sophomore season. Jerome Simpson, despite his legal woes, has looked like an adequate number two receiver. He's a solid compliment for Green. As for the Andre Caldwell, he has performed better than most of us probably anticipated. Filling in for Shipley, Caldwell has appears to have regained some confidence. And that's exactly what the Bengals needed.

And finally, the offensive line appears to be holding strong. Even without Bobbie Williams, the front line performed well at protecting Dalton and helping create opportunities for the offense to put up points.

Alright here is a look at what you may have missed or overlooked from Thursday.

  • Check out our weekly podcast.
  • Check out the Bengals' bye week report card for: the offensive linewide receiversrunning backs, and quarterback.
  • When the Bengals drafted Carson Palmer they envisioned him being an elite leader on the field that would help navigate Cincinnati to multiple playoff appearances. But that wasn't the case. His time in Cincinnati ended on an ugly note. And I guess one could say that everything has its price
  • On Thursday the Bengals worked out three punters and a long snapper. Don't worry, Kevin Huber isn't going anywhere.
  • Up to this point of the season some may consider the Bengals schedule to have been a relatively easy road to coast down. But after the bye week their schedule is going to take a turn in the opposite direction. Now it's going to be tougher.
  • The Bengals now have two first-round selections in the 2012 draft. And they might have another two in the 2013 draft, depending on how certain situations play out. But still, the idea of the Bengals having two selections within the first 32 picks is insane to think about. 


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