Why The Bengals Will Win The AFC North

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Another year, another AFC North crown for the Bengals?

The time has come for OTAs, mini camps and predictions. The weather is warm and the feel of football is making a comeback. The Cincinnati Bengals will also be attempting a comeback of sorts. They’ll be trying to repeat as AFC North champs. If the current trend continues, there should be nothing to deter their plans. But, as Bengals faithful know, anything can happen in the Nasty North.

If nothing else, the Bengals have been consistent. That may not include multiple trips to the AFC Championship Game, yet it proves that things have changed. What was once a question mark, on the shores of the Ohio River, has become an institution of winning football.

The questions about the Bengals’ ability to continue their dominance began during free agency. Actually, the whispers became shouts, during the days after the Wild Card game. Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones were allowed to walk. It was similar to Popeye going on a date with Olive Oyl…without a can of spinach. How would the Bengals survive?

The Bengals doubters have arisen again. They’re licking their chops, since the injury to Tyler Eifert. As described earlier, the domination of the AFC isn’t dependent upon the health of Eifert. There’s still a good chance the Men in Stripes will be able to continue their reign of nastiness.

Duke Tobin and Marvin Lewis have done a stupendous job. What was once a wasteland of empty promises has turned into an oasis of talent and confidence. 

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The answer is simple. The Bengals will win the AFC North with or without the services of Eifert. Andy Dalton has returned from a crushing thumb injury. The Red Rifle is looking like the gunslinger that was a shoe in for MVP honors.

Carlos Dunlap is part of a beastly defense that can only get better. One of his goals, per ESPN, is to break the season sack mark of 22.5. That record, which was set by Michael Strahan, could be in jeopardy. With the help of defensive line coach Jacob Burney and the mad tinkering of defensive coordinator Paul Guenther, the D-line will again be a force.

The key is to once again mesh the Xs and Os into a formidable concoction. There’s also the stigma of winning the first playoff game of the Dalton-Green era. Until that happens, there will still be the lingering stench of the Wild Card fiasco. The January 9 loss is a serious source of motivation.

Next: Bengals: Time to Move On

Sound defense and a healthy offense should be enough to win the division. But, this year the winning may not stop with the AFC North.

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