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Cincinnati Bengals: 5 Players Vital to 2016 Success

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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 tight end Tyler Eifert (85) runs the ball during the third quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers 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 tight end Tyler Eifert (85) runs the ball during the third quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /

Tyler Eifert

The Bengals will need Tyler Eifert to be more than just a receiving option in 2016. He will need to protect Dalton, be a check down piece, and be a huge piece in the run blocking game. All something that hasn’t been a huge part of Eifert’s NFL profile,and that is not to saying he hasn’t done it. They will need him to be more reliable on the edge for protection, not just receiving.

That is not to take away an incredible 2015 season. Eifert had an incredible 13 games this season with 615 yards, 13 touchdowns, all on 52 receptions. He was one of the most reliable targets for Andy Dalton and A.J. McCarron. He made catches in clutch moments when they needed him most. He was a difference maker and proved that he was a huge piece missing from the 2014 season, when he missed almost every game with torn ligaments in a dislocated elbow.

Andy Dalton will certainly look to utilize him every chance he can get next season. The Bengals however, will need him to take steps forward in other aspects of his game, in order to be successful, especially if Dalton is adjusting to new targets. Tyler Eifert’s role may never be more important that 2016, especially if the Bengals are hoping for a franchise best sixth straight playoff appearance and their first playoff win in 26 years.

Next: Vontaze Burfict

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