There’s no doubt the Bengals are built for speed. Now, the question is how to utilize the new dimension on offense. Endless possibilities.
It’s easy to look at the Bengals roster and imagine the possibilities. After an impressive draft and wasting no time signing the youngsters, all signs point to something good happening. It’s time to quit fuming over the state of the offensive line. It is what it is. Now is the time to consider what the Bengals have. Frankly, Cincinnati has quietly put together a group of players that will bring back the excitement.
If you don’t realize where the Bengals headquarters is located, you really don’t follow the team like you claim. The Orange & Black are in the unpredictable and insane AFC North. They share the division with a team that boasts one of the most intriguing offensive trios in the league. The Pittsburgh Steelers may be the Bengals’ kryptonite but they have one of the NFL’s most dangerous trio. Per Sports Illustrated, Antonio Brown, Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell have been lights out over the past three years.
Is there a chance the Bengals could develop a three-amigos triangle? All the signs point to something special happening on the shores of the Queen City. But, who would comprise the offensive trio threat? Early indications from analysts are mostly in favor of Joe Mixon as a member. But, that could change at any time.
What’s The Benchmark?
Offensive production. Period. There are no style points when it comes to getting the offensive accolades. However it gets done, that’s what matters. An ugly, chugging run for a first down is just as important as the over-the-shoulder-one-hand catch.
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Let’s have some fun. Of course, the whole shebang has to run through the quarterback. Andy Dalton is primed to have a great year. For once, stop hating on the guy and deal with his stats. When Dalton got comfortable in Hue Jackson’s offense (year two), he was a beast. This is the magic number for The Ginger. He’s entering his sophomore year in Ken Zampese’s system.
Before Dalton fractured his thumb against the Steelers, he was on his way to an MVP-caliber season. His partner in crime was Tyler Eifert. The Bengals’ tight end led the league with 13 TDs that year. But, he couldn’t stay healthy. A.J. Green was in the park with 10 TDs and was in the top 10 for receiving yardage. The only thing missing was a dominant running back. Jeremy Hill (794 yds) finished the year at No. 18. Giovani Bernard tossed in 730 yards to finish five spots down. Those 1,524 yards could have qualified one of them as part of the triple threat.
Getting back to Dalton, he could have easily been in the top 10 or a few notches out. But, at the rate he was performing, those numbers would have been easily eclipsed.
Let’s just say the names now and get this over with. Mixon and John Ross are prime candidates to make up the offensive trio with Dalton. Mr 422 has all the tools the Bengals need in an offensive threat. His senior year at Washington, the Pac-12 speedster had 1,150 yards receiving. He was ranked No. 26 for yardage. But, the end result is what counts. He was in the end zone 17 times. That gave him No. 3 on the stats list.
Mixon is a 1,000-yard beast waiting to be unleashed. Not only is he capable of slashing through holes in the O-line, he’s a capable threat from the backfield catching passes. If Mixon can adapt quickly and become the dual threat advertised, he’ll be on the field more than Hill and Bernard. Thus, we can say he’s a breakout candidate for the trio threat.
It’s all conjecture and definitely biased speculation. But, the Bengals have the tools to develop a potent combination that rivals that of the Steelers, Falcons and Patriots. Along with Dalton, any combination of Mixon, Ross, Green, Hill or Eifert would suffice.