Things seem to be looking up for Cincinnati Bengals after a tumultuous offseason. Those who reside in the Who Dey circle have held optimism since the coaching overhaul, but it has taken the national media much longer to buy into what’s occurring in The Queen City.
A lot of focus is on the offense, given Taylor’s forte and his experience with the explosive Rams, and it’s possible that some big performances are on the way from some of Cincinnati’s biggest names on offense. On this week’s Orange and Black Insider, John Sheeran and I started kicking around some possibilities for all of the gamblers out there.
We decided to give some over and under numbers, in terms of statistics, when it comes to some Bengals players. Here are the number we set and why the barometer landed there:
Andy Dalton: Over/Under 23 passing touchdowns
The reasoning: Dalton has averaged 23.5 touchdowns per season as a pro. He hasn’t ever put up statistical seasons akin to that in a video game, but when things go right, he’s put up some of the best single-season numbers in team history.
The variables: Dalton hasn’t finished the year healthy in two of the past four years. However, with the Taylor system being implemented, he could really thrive with a stable of weapons.
The verdict: Slightly over
Joe Mixon: Over/Under 1,600 scrimmage yards
The reasoning: Mixon led the AFC in rushing last year with 1,168 yards on just 237 carries. Some, like NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger, think that Mixon has the ability to lead the league in both rushing and scrimmage yards.
The variables: The offensive line is still trying to be built in its best incarnation, while the team is employing at least four capable running backs (considering that Rodney Anderson will be available at some point during the season). Even so, Taylor may want to ride Mixon much like the Rams rode Todd Gurley.
The verdict: Barely over
A.J. Green: Over/under 1,000 receiving yards
The reasoning: Green is averaging 1,111 receiving yards per season, but he had his lowest statistical output last season. There also may be some ancillary offensive weapons who either step up in big ways and/or actually remain healthy for longer periods of time.
The variables: Green has landed on injured reserve in two of the last three seasons and will be 31 years old when the season starts. And, with a new offense, Green could either see one of his best statistical seasons, or his targets drop because of the dispersal of the football.
The verdict: Over
Jessie Bates III: Over/under four interceptions:
The reasoning: As a rookie, Bates had three interceptions and potentially could have had one or two more. After being a Defensive Rookie of the Year finalist, one is inclined to believe that Bates’ career arc is still ascending.
The variables: Lou Anarumo is a first-time NFL defensive coordinator and we don’t know if he’ll be in over his head. However, it’s hard to believe that the defense could perform any more poorly than it did during the Teryl Austin tenure in 2018.
The verdict: Under
Carlos Dunlap: Over/under eight sacks:
The reasoning: Dunlap has averaged 8.06 sacks per year in his nine-year career. He has met or exceeded the number five times as a pro.
The variables: Really, it’s about Dunlap’s age. He’s entering his 10th season and though he hasn’t shown signs of slowing down, decline hits players at varying ages and degrees.
The verdict: Slightly under.
Geno Atkins: Over/under eight sacks:
The reasoning: Atkins has averaged just under eight sacks per year as a pro. But, even as an interior lineman, he has had five seasons of at least eight sacks, with three being in double-digits.
The variables: One of Atkins’ better seasons was actually in 2018, where he had the third-highest single-season sack total of his career (10). However, like Dunlap, we don’t know when Father Time will begin to catch up with No. 97, and we saw him become more of a feast-or-famine player when guys like Ryan Glasgow went down with an injury.
The verdict: Under
What do you think? What are some other over/under numbers you’re interested in
Also on this week’s episode:
- Some members of the NFL Network have recently warmed up to the Bengals and their potential outlook in 2019. Is it nothing more than idle chatter?
- Is one of Zac Taylor’s biggest strengths going to be his ability to make the Bengals’ game plans less predictable? What about in-game adjustments?
- A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd were ranked as a top-five pass-catching duo in 2019. Should they actually be ranked higher?
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