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Top 20 Players most important to the Bengals today

Compare this to the top 20 Bengals of 2013 with a twist. These are the players most important to the team.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

When Josh had us rank the top 20 players currently for the Bengals, I read it as list 20 current Bengal players in order according to their importance to the team. In other words, if we lost them, how much would it hurt?

Based on that idea, here was my list:

  1. Vontaze Bufict
  2. Andy Dalton
  3. A.J. Green
  4. Carlos Dunlap
  5. Giovani Bernard
  6. Andrew Whitworth
  7. Andre Smith
  8. Anthony Collins
  9. Michael Johnson
  10. Jermaine Gresham
  11. Kevin Zeitler
  12. Clint Boling
  13. Kevin Huber
  14. Terence Newman
  15. Reggie Nelson
  16. Adam Jones
  17. Marvin Jones
  18. Tyler Eifert
  19. Kyle Cook
  20. Benjarvus Green-Ellis

I know, I know. You stopped reading at Andy Dalton and texted your one friend who you know would spit his soda on his keyboard when he heard about this list. You may already be commenting before you got to this sentence because you are seeing red.

The list makes sense to me. I think the one player that hurts the Bengals the most if lost is Vontaze Burfict. Vincent Rey talked about his importance as a leader for the defense. I need to fact check, but I think he is currently on pace for about 119,000 tackles for the season (and almost as many personal fouls). I think this defense crumbles a bit when 'taze is not on the field.

Aside from the tackling machine, I believe Andy Dalton is the other guy this team can't afford to lose. Please save me the "but Peyton Manning and Tom Brady can throw a football into deca coverage and not throw an interception" crap. Dalton is the Qb of this team and currently is the best (and only) option for this offense. Losing him would be losing the season.

The next gasp I may get would be on Jermaine Gresham. I am waiting for the comment that says "but he hurts this team more than he helps with his stupid penalties". We saw the running game against Baltimore and the protection for Dalton. Both of these things were affected by Gresham not being on the field.

Anthony Collins is a backup, but we all know how important he is when a hole needs to be filled on the line. Losing him would be like losing all line depth.

So there it is. Some of you are still upset. Others would like to share their opinions. I want to hear from both of you. Let me know who you think are the most important players to this team right now and why.