Andy Dalton and the Bengals will begin the quest for another AFC North crown. He’ll have new weapons to help.
The Cincinnati Bengals endured another heartbreaking postseason. After starting the year as one of the best teams in the NFL, the end results mimicked those of years past. What turned out to be the bright spot of the campaign? The play of Andy Dalton was incredible. The Red Rifle is back and ready for action. He’s zipping balls and taking no prisoners. Dalton has lost a couple of weapons, but he’ll be fine.
After the Bengals watched the departure of Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu, fans were ready to mutiny. That old sinking feeling reared its head again. Actually, there’s no need to fear. That would be the perfect spot for a Sweet Polly Purebred joke. Alas, most Bengals fans are too young to make the connection. One connection that won’t be missed is Dalton to Tyler Eifert. That’s one reason the Bengals were willing to let their speedsters walk.
Eifert emerged as a threat to defensive secondaries and became one of Dalton’s main weapons. In the Bengals offense, Eifert was lined up everywhere. It wouldn’t have been surprising to see him in the stands selling cotton candy, before running a route. Eifert’s presence helped keep defenses honest and gave Dalton a solid target.
The Bengals’ Week 5 showdown against Seattle was his coming of age game. Eifert made thee diving catch, to help seal a 27-24 Bengals victory. His acrobatics have helped him gain Dalton’s confidence. The trust should also carry over, with new offensive coordinator Ken Zampese calling some of the shots.
Bengals fans should also remember the new weapons acquired. Tyler Boyd is a burner who has the ability to fill the shoes of Jones and Sanu. Boyd was a jack-of-all-trades, while at Pitt. Zampese and receivers coach James Urban plan on using the newest Bengal in all types of situations. Per ESPN, Boyd has no problem with the future arrangements.
"“They can utilize me in a lot of different ways, create a lot of mismatches, create a whole bunch of problems the defense can’t figure out. I can definitely ease the stress off of A.J. Green. Just move me around anywhere — slot, outside or running back — anywhere just to create mismatches.”"
Brandon LaFell is a big body that Dalton can spot over the middle, for the tough yards. Add him to the mix and Dalton won’t skip a beat. The Bengals offense should have a superb mix of speed and power.
The Red Rifle may have lost a couple of bullets, but he’ll still be locked and loaded for 2016.