Cincinnati Bengals 2016: This Is Why Your Team Rocks

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Dec 28, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) runs with the ball during the second half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 20-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 28, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) runs with the ball during the second half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 20-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports /
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Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

The Ginger and The O

Andy Dalton was one of the main reasons fans witnessed a huge turnaround. After digesting the West Coast scheme (under three, count ‘em, “three” coordinators), he matured into The Red Rifle that many had hoped for. His accuracy went through the roof and was proof that he was finally on his way to greater things.

Suddenly, there was no need to wonder who the leader of the Bengals was. He lived up to the captain “C” on his jersey. His ability to checkdown, audible and freelance became a thing of beauty. Suddenly, defenses were forced to blitz like crazy. The result? Dalton burned teams under pressure. His numbers actually looked better, when teams sent the kitchen sink.

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With the blitz in his face, Dalton’s passer rating soared from 103.0 to 112.4. How ya like that, J.J. Watt? Not bad for a B.B. gun.

The offense? Let’s not give all the credit to the departed Hue Jackson. Amazingly, Ken Zampese isn’t mentioned that much. But, he helped the maturation process too. There were times when Zampese was given an opportunity to show his grasp of the playbook. Thankfully, that same understanding will be leading Andy and the offense in 2016. 

The Bengals are lucky to have a five-time Pro Bowler named A.J. Green. He rocked the season and joined Randy Moss as the only receivers to have five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. His performance in the AFC Wild Card Game almost resulted in Cincinnati’s first playoff victory in 24 years.

Tyler Eifert, Giovani Bernard, and A.J. McCarron are other notable contributors to the dynamic offense. If the Bengals’ offense were an adult beverage, it would be Southern Comfort. They come out smooth, but the end result will nail you.

Next: Mikey Likes It

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