Bengals News

Cincinnati Bengals: 4 surprises in the AFC North

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CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 23: C.J. Uzomah #87 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers in the second quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 23, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 23: C.J. Uzomah #87 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers in the second quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 23, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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CLEVELAND, OH – DECEMBER 23: Cody Core #16 celebrates with C.J. Uzomah #87 of the Cincinnati Bengals after converting a two point conversion during the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 23, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH – DECEMBER 23: Cody Core #16 celebrates with C.J. Uzomah #87 of the Cincinnati Bengals after converting a two point conversion during the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 23, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Doom and gloom is one way some in the NFL media is talking about the Cincinnati Bengals. It’s also fair, if not a bit premature. You have an offensive line that won’t conjure a lot of confidence and a defense with a few question marks. So, doom and gloom? No, not really.

Back in 2016, the Rams were an absolute dumpster fire, finishing 4-12 and giving their rookie quarterback an 0-7 start to his career. LA immediately went out and hired some whiz kid named Sean McVay and immediately saw their fortunes turn. A season later, they finished the 2017 season 11-5 and made the playoffs. A year later in 2018, they went 13-3 and went to the Super Bowl.

Such a scenario is unlikely for the Bengals, but a lot can be said for a rookie head coach replacing another who was perhaps out of touch with the high flying offenses in today’s NFL. Zac Taylor has some tools to work with, and if he can manage to crank up a stagnant Cincinnati offense, doom and gloom won’t be what best defines the Bengals in 2019.

Cincinnati has a tough schedule and is not the class of the AFC North. That said, if they can manage to post a 2-2 record to kick off a tough September schedule, a schedule that has them on the road for three games, they have a shot to make some noise.

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The Steelers will win the division this season and will do so comfortably. But the Cincinnati Bengals will find a rejuvenated Dalton comfortable in Taylor’s offense, and that gives this team an outside shot in 2019.

Bengals surprise and finish 9-7.

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