Pete Prisco just did a story titled "Overrated-underrated: Sue me, Lions fans, but Suh is more hype than bite" listing Ndamukong Suh as the most overrated player in the league and Ray McDonald as the most underrated player in the league. Pete goes on to list his most overrated and underrated player on each team.
We're just going to go over Pete's most overrated/underrated Bengals here. Then I'll ask you who your most overrated/underrated Bengal players are.
Who were the most underrated/overrated Bengals you ask? Click the jump to find out...
Pete's most overrated Cincinnati Bengal is BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
Overrated: RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Yes, he's a solid runner. But where's the home-run speed? They paid to make him their starter, but he doesn't give them much more than what they had.
BJGE has come to the Bengals as a welcome breath of fresh air after Cedric Benson. He has never fumbled, he could be counted on to get the tough yards when called upon, and he comes from the successful offense of the New England Patriots. Pete states that BJGE doesn't give the Bengals much more than what they already had in Benson, which to a point is true.
Ced was a steady workhorse RB that seemed to get better the more he ran during a game. Recently, Ced started fumbling the football, which for him up until that point, was a rarity. Of his 19 career fumbles, 12 of them came in his last two seasons with the Bengals. Prior to the 2010 season, Cedric had 7 total fumbles in 5 years. BJGE has never fumbled the ball in a regular season or playoff game. He did have one fumble in the August 20, 2009 preseason game against the Bengals (You can see this in episode 3 of the Bengals Hard Knocks).
BJGE hasn't been asked to carry the ball as many times as Benson had done for the Bengals and he shouldn't be asked to do so now that he is a part of this squad. Gruden has mentioned the desire to have a RBBC (running back by committee) approach to the running game. That's not to say that if BJGE gets the "hot hand" (in Gruden's words), he won't get more carries than normal. The question would be, can BJGE handle the extra load. We don't know at this point.
Another area where BJGE is considered an upgrade over Benson is attitude. Benson has been known to sulk and complain about not getting carries he thinks he should get. If Bernard Scott was put in a game, the camera, almost without fail, would pan over to Benson on the sidelines looking entirely unhappy to have been pulled from the game instead of pulling for his teammate to make an impact. All word from fans and employees of the New England Patriots say that BJGE is the consummate professional and all around good guy. The broadcasters won't know what to do next year when BJGE is pulled for another back and they don't have the disgruntled Benson to pan to while making comments about his attitude.
All in all, I don't know that I would actually call BJGE overrated so much as a relief. But I'm not looking at him as an Adrian Peterson, Arian Foster, Maurice Jones-Drew, etc. I think a lot of the "hype" about BJGE is more just a refreshing feeling after dealing with Benson's attitude and ineptitude than him being the "savior" of the Bengals running game.
Pete's most underrated Cincinnati Bengal is Geno Atkins:
Underrated: DT Geno Atkins. It was a crime he didn't go to the Pro Bowl last season. Put on his tape against Marshall Yanda in Baltimore and you will know why.
I think this one may be close to a consensus agreement. Not a lot of explanation owing on this one. Atkins was snubbed by the Pro Bowl voting and is largely overlooked by a lot of talking heads. Atkins was nicknamed "Taz" his rookie season and he has looked like a crazed Tasmanian devil going after the QB more than once. The lack of recognition for Atkins has long been an item of discussion on this site.
So it's your turn. Who is your most overrated and underrated Cincinnati Bengal today?