DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 18: Domata Peko #94 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates after recovering a fumble by quarterback Kyle Orton #8 of the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High on September 18, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Analysts with the NFL Network (and NFL.com) debate a very simple question: Which team improved themselves the most during the offseason. Some approach it with good teams that made decent offseason moves to get better, but generally speaking it's a collection of teams that dominated free agency or owned the NFL draft (which I suppose makes sense). Of all the analysts that piped in, Albert Breer offered the most reasoned and level-headed response, suggesting that the Cincinnati Bengals are the most improved. Would it be a stretch to compliment Breer's excellence in enlightenment with a high-five or a confident nod, as if there was no other possible answer?
First, logic says that Andy Dalton and A.J. Green are going to improve from Year 1 to Year 2. Ditto for offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, who pairs with Mike Zimmer to form what's fast becoming one of the strongest coordinator combinations in the league. And on defense, there's the hope they'll get back Leon Hall, one of the league's better young corners before tearing his Achilles last November.
And then there's the draft, where they used capital built in the Carson Palmer trade to compile what looks like a very strong group on paper. Dre Kirkpatrick helps at corner. They swooped in at 27 to take a player division rival Baltimore wanted: guard Kevin Zeitler. Then they took three players in the second and third rounds who were considered steals at their draft slots: defensive tackles Devon Still and Brandon Thompson and receiver Mohamed Sanu.
Now asking a bunch of Bengals fans which NFL team is the most improved might be a dead end. But let's do it anyway.
Did the Bengals improve themselves the most among all NFL teams this offseason?
Yes (407 votes)
No. Just kidding. Totally, yes. (170 votes)
577 total votes