Cincinnati Bengals: 5 Players Vital to 2016 Success

matthewwillson
Nov 29, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert (85) and quarterback Andy Dalton (14) against the St. Louis Rams at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 31-7. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 29, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert (85) and quarterback Andy Dalton (14) against the St. Louis Rams at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 31-7. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jan 9, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) scores a touchdown against Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback William Gay (22) during the fourth quarter in the AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 9, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) scores a touchdown against Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback William Gay (22) during the fourth quarter in the AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /

A.J. Green

It will be a mystery, at least for another month or so, whether or not Marvin Jones or Mohamed Sanu will remain Bengals–not that the team won’t give its best effort to re-sign the two. Whether they do or don’t return, it will not influence the importance of A.J. Green’s role on this offense. He is best target the Bengals have and can improve any starting receiver the Bengals retain or bring in, other through free agency or the draft.

Green, who missed three full regular season, a couple partial games after suffering concussions, and a playoff game in 2014, came back stronger and more determined to prove himself in 2015. Arguably his best season in a Bengals uniform, his 10 touchdowns, 1,297 receiving yards, 86 receptions, and 63 first downs made him a pro bowl receiver this season. He was only beat out by Tyler Eifert in touchdowns and led the Bengals in yards, receptions, and first downs.

All that being said, we have seen him make plenty of mental errors in his five seasons with the Bengals. Focus will be a key for Green. His ability to run routes and not give up on plays, something he showed improvement in 2015, will be something many fans will watch. If they do lose Jones and/or Sanu, Green’s role could grow exponentially in 2016 and the Bengals have faith that he can rise to the occasion. The only question is, who will be the Bengals number two and three guys at receiver.

Next: Cedric Ogbuehi

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