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Prediction: Andy Dalton soars; Bengals win 12 and a playoff game

Most Bengals fans would take this.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 NFL season is nearing, and the Cincinnati Bengals hope it's another playoff season, though this time one that ends after the Wild Card round.

That's what CBS Sports' Pete Prisco believes the Bengals will do this year, and they'll do so behind the arm of Andy Dalton, who will have a career year.

Andy Dalton will throw for 4,500 yards and 35 touchdown passes.

The new-look offense with new coordinator Hue Jackson will make Dalton that much better. They have a ton of weapons and the way they use them will really help Dalton become a better passer.

The Bengals will run the ball more under Jackson, and they will change their mentality some up front. That will help Dalton with the play-action passing and open up more lanes for him to throw.

With A.J. Green, Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones outside and Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham inside, they will have chance to make plays in the passing game -- and Dalton will make them.

One more thing: Dalton will win a playoff game this year.

In a separate article, Prisco predicted the outcome of every NFL game this year, and here's how he projected the AFC North.


Cincinnati Bengals



Pittsburgh Steelers



Baltimore Ravens



Cleveland Browns


Personally, I'd probably knock 2-3 wins off of Pitt's record, 1-2 off of Cincinnati's, and add a win or two onto Cleveland's record. Baltimore at 9-7 feels right.

As for the rest of the playoffs, Prisco has Denver and Green Bay advancing to the Super Bowl.

First-round byes -- AFC: Patriots, Broncos.
First-round byes -- NFC: Packers, Cardinals.
Wild-card round -- AFC: Bengals 28, Ravens 17; Steelers 30, Colts 23.
Wild-card round -- NFC: Saints 33, Falcons 30; Seahawks 24, Eagles 21.
Divisional round -- AFC: Patriots 21, Steelers 20; Broncos 30, Bengals 17.
Divisional round -- NFC: Packers 35, Saints 30; Seahawks 20, Cardinals 17.
Conference championships: Broncos 28, Patriots 27 (AFC); Packers 23, Seahawks 21 (NFC).
Super Bowl: Broncos 38, Packers 35.