Bengals News

Week in Review: AFC Playoffs: Second Round Predictions

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#2 New England Patriots vs. #5 Cincinnati Bengals

QB – Andy Dalton had an impressive rookie year. He was poised, made good decisions and led the Bengals farther than most thought they would go. However he isn’t Tom Brady. Brady is one of the best QB’s in this league and one of the best of all time. He has been here before and knows how to win in the playoffs.

RB – The Bengals signed NE’s number one RB from last year BenJarvus Green-Ellis. He is a great short yardage and goal line back. He doesn’t have elite speed but should be an upgrade of Cedric Benson. Bernard Scott hasn’t shown much in his career, but Brian Leonard is a really good 3rd down back. He can block and catch. Always seems to make the big play for the first down. The Patriots are going to lean on two 2nd year players in Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen. Danny Woodhead will still be there but he isn’t an every down back.

WR – A.J. Green is the best WR in this game. He can do things few guys can do in this league. He will soon be a top 5 WR’s in this league in the likes of Fitz and Megatron. However after Green, the Bengals lack a proven #2 WR. They let Jerome Simpson go in the offseason after some trouble with the law. Andrew Hawkins will be a good slot WR, but we will have to wait and see how the WR battle shakes out between the remaining guys Armon Binns, Brandon Tate and rookies Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu. The Patriots have a very deep WR group. Everyone knows Wes Welker. He will catch 100 balls this year and be one of Brady’s main targets. They also got a great deep threat in Brandon Lloyd. They then have sure handed Jabar Gaffney and Deion Branch.

TE – Jermaine Gresham is poised for a huge year. He had a good year last year but without the presence of a true #2 WR he will be Daltons second target after Green. Donald Lee is a veteran #2 TE who has good athletic ability and good hands. Orson Charles is a rookie who was poised to be a second round draft pick before some off the field trouble. He is a great receiving threat. However the Pats have the best TE group in the league. Rob Gronkowski is the best all around TE in this league. He can block as well as catch the ball with the best of them. Aaron Hernandez is faster and more explosive then Gronk and is a top 10 TE in his own right. They also signed Visanthe Shiancoe from the Vikings to be their #3 TE.

OL – Both teams have good offensive lines with new starters stepping in. The Bengals have one of the better LT’s in the league. Andrew Whitworth is one of the best LT’s in this league. Andre Smith after having a disappointing rookie year, had a really good year last year as the RT. Kyle Cook, while not outstanding is an average C. This line is really going to henge on how the new OG’s step up. Kevin Zeitler the 1st round pick is expected to be an outstanding run blocker at the RG position. Travelle Wharton is out for the season so 2nd year OG Clint Boling is steping in. New England also has a good offensive line. Lone new strater is 2nd year LT Nate Solder. Logan Mankins and Brian Waters man the 2 guard spots. Both have been pro bowlers, but can Waters continue as he gets up there in age. Dan Koppen at C and Sebastian Vollmer at RT round out the Pats offensive line.