Reasons to be Cautious:
Andy Dalton – Despite the impressive stats listed above, I do still have my concerns with Dalton. Mainly his ability to win in the playoffs – now 0-2, 56.9% completion, 384 yards,0 TDs and 4 INTs. Making the playoffs is one thing, but eventually, you have to win.
Marvin Lewis – Lewis deserves credit for what he has done to restore this franchise, but that does not hide the fact that he is 0-2 in the playoffs and has been thoroughly outcoached in those games by a less than impressive coach (Kubiak). The worst thing you can say about a coach is that his team looked unprepared, and in both playoff games, Lewis’s teams looked incredibly unprepared and overwhelmed by the situation (as did Lewis).
History – While history does not literally affect a team, it can weigh on a team mentally. The Bengals franchise has not felt playoff success since 1990, and though many of these players don’t remember the year 1990, they have heard the talk.
This is not a “Homer” pick. This is a pick based on talent and weaknesses. The Bengals are by far the most talented team in this division (maybe in the AFC), they have the most balance, and they have the least amount of weaknesses. If the Bengals have any Kool-Aid down at Paul Brown Stadium, I am drinking it.