As the writers at Pro Football Talk continue to preview and rank every NFL team for the upcoming 2012 season, the Bengals came in at #15 in their preseason power rankings. They came in just behind the Cowboys at #14 and ahead of the Chargers at #16. They had high praise for the Bengals’ young talent and the impact that A.J. Green will have in year two of his NFL career:
Though the rest of the receiving depth chart is muddled for now, A.J. Green provides opportunities for middle-of-the-pack wideouts to become stars. With Green being blanketed (and still making plays when he is), others will enjoy single coverage — and whoever can best beat single coverage and catch the ball will generate the kind of numbers that will make him a fantasy favorite and, ultimately, the No. 1 option with a new team and the fat signing bonus that goes along with it.
Despite returning the core of last year’s team that made it into the playoffs, there are still legitimate concerns with the team that could hinder the Bengals’ ability to make a repeat trip to the postseason:
While the Bengals enjoy consistency at key player and coaching positions, they also have some areas of transition that could become liabilities. If the running game slumps, it will be easier for defenses to take away the best part of the passing game. And if no one steps up to take pressure off A.J. Green, those double teams could become triple teams. And if the defensive secondary can’t slow down the pass-happy offenses they’ll face, it may not matter how many points the offense can score.
Given the amount of young, talented players on this team that are expected to only improve going into next year, versus the question marks in the running game and in the defensive backfield, do you agree with the #15 ranking for the Bengals?