The Cincinnati Bengals offense has left a lot to be desired during the past three seasons, never ranking better than 20th (2010) with a scoring offense that's averaged 22nd, 22nd and 32nd in the NFL. On the other hand, the Bengals overall defense has ranked 12th (2008), 4th and 15th in the past three seasons, led by defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. Bengals starting safety Chris Crocker makes that point.
"I don’t want to offend anyone, but it's not like we've been scoring 40 points a game." Crocker said. "Since I've been here, the defense has been the strength. That's just facts. And now the way we're looking at is we're going back to work. But I don't want to leave you with the impression we don't have a chance. I think we do. It reminds me of '09 coming off that bad season and no one giving us a chance.
While that might be a little much for me to chew, the perspective appears similar. However, the difference from 2009 and 2011 is that the Bengals could literally have a new starting quarterback, running back and two wide receivers based on the starting lineup a year ago during Cincinnati's regular season opener against the New England Patriots. Not to mention the team has a new offensive philosophy and coordinator and then there's this little lockout that's prevented contact between the coaches and players. Again the comparisons from 2008-2009 and 2010-2011 are apples and oranges, at best.
I will agree with Crocker on one thing. The Bengals defense has been the strength. And that's not saying a whole lot, considering that in two of the past three seasons, the scoring defense ranked 19th or worse.
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