Cleat Geeks

NFL Report Card: Cincinnati Bengals

 

Our NFL report card for the 2015-2016 season will be assigning a letter grade to each of the 32 teams and offering an explanation why that grade was chosen. After the evaluation, we will point out one specific area the team will need to address this off-season. Want some extra credit? Comment down below what grade YOU would give the team, and tell me on Twitter (@FantasyFlurry) your thoughts on the team’s report card for that day!

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The Bengals exceeded expectations when they finished the season 12-4. Many thought they would be an eight-win team because of their tough schedule, but the schedule ended up being fairly easy. Much of their success this year was because of Andy Dalton, who was viewed as an MVP candidate through the first half of the season. He led one of the most creative offenses in the league, which often kept defenses guessing. His favorite target, A.J. Green, continues to be consistent as he eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first five seasons in the league. Tight end Tyler Eifert fought back from last season’s injury to emerge as one of the top red zone targets in the league and catch 13 touchdowns. Once the playoffs came around, the Bengals went back to their old habits and found ways to beat themselves.

Their defense was one of the most balanced units in the NFL. Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, Adam Jones, and Reggie Nelson helped to lead this defense to be top-10 in both sacks and interceptions. The weakest part of this defense was unfortunately all of the illegal penalties (Burfict had four).

Final Grade: B+cincinnati_bengals-641

 

Biggest Off-Season Need?

Much of what will need to be addressed depends on who they are able to re-sign in free agency, but I believe they will need to address the linebacker position. Vincent Rey and Emmanuel Lamur are both free agents, A.J. Hawk’s performance is still on the decline, and Vontaze Burfict will be suspended for the first three games of the season. Not only will they need depth at linebacker, but they will also be in search of more youth at this position.

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