In our mailbag feature, we cover a wide range of topics. This summer, we were in the business of predicting some 2012 Bengals statistics. In hindsight, I was hit and miss on some of these, so it's time to bite the bullet and see just how (in)accurate I was in these predictions. Let's see how close I was:
+ BenJarvus Green-Ellis prediction: 220 attempts, 858 yards and 3.9 yards per carry, one fumble and ten touchdowns. 25 receptions, 192 yards and one receiving touchdown.
Actual 2012 stats through 14 games: 263 attempts, 1,080 yards, 4.1 yards per carry, two fumbles and six touchdowns. 21 receptions, 104 yards and zero receiving touchdowns.
Summary: This is probably one of the closest predictions I made earlier this year. With offensive coordinator Jay Gruden vowing to use a committee approach at the running back spot, I figured that Green-Ellis would have a smaller role than what he's currently at. Late this season, he's proven to be a workhorse for the team and has been stellar over the past five weeks. Due to injuries to Bernard Scott, Cedric Peerman and others, Green-Ellis has taken the bulk of the carries and, quite literally, ran with the opportunity. The fumbles were an early season problem, but he has remedied that and played some great football of late.
+ Andy Dalton prediction: 325 completions, 525 attempts, 62% completion percentage, 24 touchdowns, 16 interceptions, 86 quarterback rating, 3,857 yards.
Actual 2012 stats through 14 games: 295 completions, 472 attempts, 62.5% completion percentage, 3,313 yards, 26 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, 89.4 quarterback rating.
Summary: Again, I wasn't too far off here. At first blush, Dalton's stats are at a Pro Bowl level, but the return of Peyton Manning seems to have pushed him out of a spot on the squad, unless he makes it as an alternate again. With a tougher schedule and some new pieces to work with, Dalton has the Bengals in the playoff hunt. Though I didn't predict rushing stats for Dalton, it's important to note that he has four rushing touchdowns on the season, bringing him to 30-plus (after two more games), total.
+ A.J. Green prediction: 70 receptions, 1,112 yards and eight touchdowns.
Actual 2012 stats through 14 games: 85 receptions, 1,208 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Summary: I was wrong here. I wasn't that far off of the stats--it was more about the fact that I predicted a "solid" campaign out of Green. Problem is that Green decided to have a dominant one. He's on his way to his second Pro Bowl and could break some single-season franchise records in 2012. He's in the "top five" discussion at his position and the sky is the limit for Green.
+ Jermaine Gresham prediction: 58 receptions, 655 yards, 11.3 yards per reception average and eight touchdowns.
Actual 2012 stats through 14 games: 61 receptions, 699 yards, 11.5 yards per reception average and five touchdowns.
Summary: Gresham is set to surpass all of my expectations, with the exception of touchdown receptions. He could be a fringe Pro Bowl player this year, particularly with the injuries to the Patriots' tight ends and the declining play of Antonio Gates. Still, I think most Bengals fans would love to see more from him in the touchdown column.
+ Mohamed Sanu prediction: 61 receptions, 745 yards, 12.2 yards per reception average and three touchdowns.
Actual 2012 stats through nine games: Between injuries and gameday inactives, Sanu had a bit of a disappointing season. Although, throughout the Bengals' late-season win streak, Sanu played a huge role. He had four touchdowns during a three game stretch--all Bengals victories. He broke a bone in his foot in practice and landed on IR, prematurely ending his season. I was way off on every statistic other than touchdown receptions--so, sue me.
+Carlos Dunlap prediction: 10.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, 45 tackles, nine tackles for loss.
Actual 2012 stats through 12 games: 4.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, 33 tackles and six tackles for loss.
Summary: Unfortunately, Dunlap still hasn't popped off in the sack column, but he does create a lot of pressure on the quarterback and he does create turnovers. Most figured that a fully-healthy Dunlap would equate to a huge year with sacking the quarterback, but it hasn't been the case. Regardless, he has been a valuable player on one of the best defensive lines in the NFL.
Where were you predicting these players at in the stat column? Were you close?