With the NFL season right around the corner the Cincinnati Bengals reported to training camp on Wednesday. Camp officially
opens on Friday the 26th. The Bengals are looking to build off of last seasons promising regular season but a massively disappointing post season appearance.
Cincinnati comes into training camp led by head coach Marvin Lewis and third year quarterback Andy Dalton, the two have proved to be a formidable combo for the Bengals. Lewis returns for his 11th season at the realm for the Bengals, his overall record is only 79-84-1 but he has taken the Bengals to the playoffs 3 of the last 4 years, unfortunately they have lost in the wild card all three years.
Andy Dalton has proved to have been a steal for the Bengals in the 2011 draft. His first two seasons have resulted in back to back playoff appearances, something number one pick Cam Newton can’t say.
The 2013 season appears to be a make or break year for the Bengals. With back to back playoff appearances Cincinnati needs to advance to at least the divisional round of the playoffs if not make a deeper run into the playoffs.
The Cincinnati offense returns this season just as powerful as 2012. Cincinnati drafted two offense players that will help out immediately. Tight End Tyler Eifert from Notre Dame will help the Bengals try to immolate the Patriots double TE package. The team also drafted a second power running back in Giovanni Bernard out of North Carolina who will assist BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Besides those additions wide receiver AJ Green will lead the receiving corps once again this season.
Defensive wise Cincinnati is stacked this season. 2012 was a good defensive year for the Bengals but 2013 looks to be better. Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick looks to play the entire season this year which will be a huge boost for the Bengals. Just the fact that everyone is a year older helps the Bengals, more experience is always a good thing for young players. The linebacker cops for the Bengals will be Vontaze Burfict, Rey Maualuga and James Harrison, arguably the scariest starting linebackers in football.
With both sides of the ball covered the Bengals should compete for the AFC North title. The Browns are never competitive, the Steelers are old and don’t appear together. The biggest competition comes from defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.
With training camp right around the corner, my prediction for the Bengals this year will be a 12-4 record. Maybe a little to optimistic but this team has talent.
Training camp opens tonight with a pep rally at Paul Brown Stadium at 7pm, open free to the public. Tomorrow real work starts as training camp officially starts a 3-5pm once again it is free to the public.