The 2011 Cincinnati Bengals are, of any other team in the NFL, the most drastically changed between 2010 and 2011. I will break down what I think are the major points of the offseason and then my predictions for the Bengals 2011 NFL season.
- Obviously the first thing that needs to be mentioned is the change at the quarterback position. Unless you are a teenage girl or have been stranded on an island you know that Carson Palmer is out and Andy Dalton is in. That is the last I will mention of Palmer, he quit and he is done.
- Losing Jonathan Joseph to free agency was the biggest mistake this franchise made this offseason. Period. There is no reason why the Bengals are still millions under the salary cap and were unable to sign him.
- The Chad Ochocinco era has ended in Cincinnati and we have a brand new looking receiving core. A.J. Green is a wonderful addition to this team and will be a star in this league in just a few short years.
- Cedric Benson is back in CIncinnati. Great move by the Bengals. Benson still has a lot left and they showed confidence in their ability to resign him by not drafting a new RB high in the draft.
The Cincinnati Bengals are not the worst team in the NFL. They will struggle early on, especially the offense, but they will find their way eventually. Make no mistake, this is a rebuilding year. It is extremely unlikely for a rookie quarterback to take a team to the Super Bowl, let alone the Playoffs. What the Bengals need to focus on this season is getting experience and improvement out of all of their young promising talent.
- Andy Dalton will not be the worst starting quarterback in the NFL this year. He will throw for around 2700 yards and have the same number of interceptions as touchdowns, give or take a few.
- Cedric Benson will rush for at least 1300 yards and have at least 10 rushing touchdowns.
- A.J. Green will have a quiet start to the season but will start to come on around game 5 or 6. I expect about 700 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns at the most.
- There will be a contest between Jermaine Gresham and Jordan Shipley on who will have the most receptions and receiving yards on the team and both will finish in the top 2.
- Leon Hall will not have many interceptions this season but will become a better cornerback and is a invaluable asset to the defense.
- Rey Maualuga will rise to be a NFL star this year leading the Bengals defense into the top 10 in the NFL.
- The Bengals will finish the season at 6-10 with a few upset wins towards the end of the season.