Aug 23, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Green Bay Packers defensive back Tramon Williams (38) breaks up a fade pattern to Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver AJ Green (18) during the pre-season game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports
As the Cincinnati Bengals prepare to kickoff their preseason schedule tomorrow night against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, at least one NFL authority ranks the Bengals as the superior team. With the release of its AFC/NFC West team and player ratings today, EA Sports’ Madden NFL 15 rankings now cover all 32 teams, and Cincinnati fares well in several areas. In team rankings, the Bengals score an overall 86, tops in the AFC North Division and four points better than the Chiefs (82). That mark also leaves the Bengals tied with the New Orleans Saints as the sixth-best team in the NFL entering exhibition games, at least according to Madden 15. The teams in front of them are:
- Seattle Seahawks (91)
- Denver Broncos (90)
- San Francisco 49ers (90)
- Green Bay Packers (88)
- New England Patriots (88)
On an individual basis, Geno Atkins leads the way as Madden’s second overall defensive tackle (96), behind only Ndamukong Suh of the Detroit Lions (97). If not for the ACL injury that ended his 2013 season, Atkins might have ranked even higher.
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Wide receiver A.J. Green garnered an overall score of 95 on the Madden 15 scale, good enough for fourth among wideouts. For Bengals fans who have watched this guy develop at lightning spped, even this lofty ranking will seem low, especially considering that the aging Andre Johnson of the Houston Texans checks in one slot higher. Quarterback Andy Dalton comes in at an 85, short of elite status despite his shiny new contract, while running back Giovani Bernard scores a nifty 84 on the strength of his promising rookie season. If new offensive coordinator beefs up the running game as expected, Bernard’s stock may be rising by the time Madden 16 rolls around. All in all, the Madden 15 rankings for the Bengals reflect much of the thinking around the club: they’re a bunch of talented players with the chance to do something special this season. It all starts tomorrow night in Kansas City!