Cincinnati Bengals News
9-29-15: Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals were fantastic for the third week in a row, as they out-witted the Baltimore Ravens in a wild 28-24 win in week three. The Red Rifle was lights out for the third game in a row, as he posted his best numbers of the year with 383 passing yards and four total scores (one rushing). Stud wide receiver A.J. Green snapped out of a minor two-week lull to be the major offensive difference-maker, as he piled on over 220 receiving yards and provided the game-winning score. Cincy’s defense survived a stellar performance from Joe Flacco and the Ravens’ offense to drop one of their bitter AFC North foes to 0-3 on the year. The Bengals could start making a case as a legit Super Bowl contender if they can take down the Chiefs in week four and move to 4-0.
9-22-15: The Cincinnati Bengals overcame two fumbles out of Jeremy Hill to hold off the visiting San Diego Chargers in week two, 24-19. Giovani Bernard was a huge reason why, as he took over for a benched Hill to total 139 yards on the ground and in the air. With Bernard keeping San Diego’s defense on their toes all day, quarterback Andy Dalton was free to do as he pleased en route to 214 yards and three touchdowns. A.J. Green found the end-zone for the first time in 2015, while tight end Tyler Eifert picked up right where he left off from a dominant week one, chipping in his third score of the year. Cincy has looked strong on their way to a 2-0 start, but things could start getting a little more difficult in week three when they battle the division rival Ravens in Baltimore.
9-15-15: Jeremy Hill had his way with the Oakland Raiders in week one, as he mashed their run defense for 63 yards and two scores in an easy 33-13 road win. Hill wasn’t the only star on Cincy’s offense, however, as tight end Tyler Eifert lived up to all the summer hype with 9 catches, 112 yards and two touchdowns off of a staggering 12 targets. Andy Dalton looked as calm as ever, as he took zero sacks and completed 73% of his passes while scoring twice and avoiding any turnovers. Cincy’s defense got the job done from top to bottom, as they held Latavius Murray in check and only allowed two late scores in garbage time. While week one was a bit of a breeze for the Bengals, week two should be a little more difficult when Cincy welcomes Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers into town.
9-8-15: The Cincinnati Bengals had hopes that stud linebacker Vontaze Burfict (knee) would make it back for the start of the 2015 NFL regular season. That unfortunately won’t be happening, as the team placed Burfict on the PUP list, rendering him useless for the first six games of the year. Luckily Burfict is the only big injury the Bengals are dealing with, as Marvin Jones, A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert all missed extensive action in 2014 with injuries, but are 100% heading into Cincy’s week one road battle with the Oakland Raiders. Quarterback Andy Dalton got a little nicked up during preseason play, but is fully expected to suit up in week one and should be able to take advantage of a suspect Oakland defense.
9-1-15: Andy Dalton rebounded from a rough week two to get the Cincinnati Bengals past the Chicago Bears, 21-10. Dalton completed all six of his passes for 52 yards and even added a one-yard touchdown plunge to get the first team offense back into a groove. Dalton ended his day with a sore neck, but said he’s “OK” and is fully expected to be 100% come week one of regular season play. A.J. McCarron cemented Cincy’s backup quarterback gig with a strong showing, himself, as he completed 12 of 17 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown. Cincinnati’s offense was clicking all around, as starting running back Jeremy Hill also added a score, along with a solid 46 yards off of 11 totes. While things are going just swimmingly on offense, the defense is still without star linebacker Vontaze Burfict. Burfict continues to miss time with a knee issue and is now a candidate to begin 2015 on the PUP list. The Bengals look to be fairly healthy otherwise, and will look to wrap up their preseason schedule with a win over the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday.
8-25-15: A week after looking to be in midseason form, Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals offense looked awful. Dalton tossed two picks and couldn’t get anything going in an entire half of play on Monday night, as the Bengals got man-handled by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 25-11. The running game struggled, as well, as Jeremy Hill looked spry enough on four carries, but lost a fumble. James Wilder Jr. was the ground game’s lone bright spot on the night, as he scored Cincy’s only touchdown late in the game. Marvin Jones wasn’t able to show much in Cincy’s second preseason game, but it’s still encouraging that he’s healthy after missing a good amount of time last year due to a foot issue. Jones is back running with the first team offense and could be ready to step his game up a level in 2015.
8-18-15: Andy Dalton and the first team offense looked fantastic for the Cincinnati Bengals in their preseason debut, as they put up a touchdown early to help get a nice 23-10 win over the New York Giants. Dalton was perfect (3-3) in one series, as he connected with Mohamed Sanu on a touchdown. The rest of the first team offense was also strong, as Jeremy Hill had 15 yards off of two carries and tight end Tyler Eifert lived up to the hype with 30 yards on two catches. Shifty running back Rex Burkhead also continued to impress with the backups, as he put up 23 yards on just four rushes. Giovani Bernard was not so lucky in his time on the field, as he was able to muster just five rushing yards on four attempts. Bernard and the rest of the Bengals will have a chance to put more positive plays on tape in Cincy’s second preseason matchup, which comes against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next Monday night.
8-12-15: The hype around tight end Tyler Eifert won’t quit, as reports around the Bengals suggest the third-year pass-catcher is “uncoverable” in practice. Eifert had recently declared himself 100% healthy after missing 15 games in 2014 due to a dislocated elbow. Eifert could be a huge part of offensive coordinator Hue Jackson’s plight to “open things up” on offense, and fans will get their first real look at him on Friday night when Cincy hosts the New York Giants. Cincinnati still won’t rule out linebacker Vontaze Burfict for week one, as the team is holding out hope he can return the final week of August can get some practice in. Running back Rex Burkhead continues his efforts to get meaningful snaps in Cincy’s offense, and has reportedly impressed as a slot receiver. OC Hue Jackson loves Burkhead’s athleticism and if he can shine in preseason play, could make the full-time switch to receiver.
8-5-15: The Cincinnati Bengals vow to open things up offensively in 2015, with offensive coordinator Hue Jackson suggesting bigs things. With a healthy A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert aboard, Andy Dalton and co. could easily be headed for their most productive season yet. Eifert is fairly key, as he was set to have a big year in 2014 before going down with a dislocated elbow. Now 100%, Eifert could be a threat in the intermediate game, as well as a weapon in the red-zone. While the offense seems destined for greatness this year, the defense still has some question marks. Defensive linemen Margus Hunt was activated off the PUP list and can now compete for a spot in the rotation, but the team lost defensive end Michael Johnson to a knee sprain and still hasn’t heard anything positive back on linebacker Vontaze Burfict. Elsewhere, return specialist James Wright was lost for the season with a knee injury and guard Cedric Ogbuehi remains on the active/NFI list after tearing up his knee last December.
7-28-15: Rookies reported for Cincinnati Bengals training camp on July 27th, while veterans hit the practice field on July 30th. There coaches will get a good look at third-year tight end Tyler Eifert, who could take over the starting job with Jermaine Gresham out of town. Eifert failed to take hold of extra opportunities last year due to a dislocated elbow, but Cincy beat writer Paul Dehner envisions 2015 being a “breakout” year for the young pass-catcher. Eifert isn’t the only Bengals receiver getting healthy, as A.J. Green is 100% after battling toe woes and Marvin Jones has moved past a foot issue. Cincinnati is getting healthier on the defensive side, as well, as stud defensive tackle Geno Atkins continues to return to previous form. Linebacker Vontaze Burfict (knee) is a big question mark for camp and the start of the season, however, and reportedly as a “long ways” to go in his recovery.
7-22-15: The big storyline in Cincinnati continues to be whether or not quarterback Andy Dalton can lead the Bengals to a playoff win (or further) in 2015. Cincy definitely helped him out by shifting to a run-based offense in 2014 and looks primed to take another positive step forward in August. Tight end Tyler Eifert will have a crack at locking down the starting gig when training camp opens on July 30th for veterans, while he could be pushed by rookie Tyler Kroft. The Bengals will also be getting a healthy Marvin Jones back, who recently suggested the foot injury that robbed him of a healthy 2014 is completely healed. With the offense looking sharp, most of Cincy’s focus may be to improve an already solid defense. That could start with star defensive tackle Geno Atkins, who is said to be looking “scary” and healthy so far this summer. While Atkins returning to form would be a massive boost for a solid unit, the Bengals will still have to cross their fingers they have safety George Iloka (undisclosed injury) and linebacker Vontaze Burfict (knee) ready for the season opener.
5-4-15: Building up their power running game even further, the Cincinnati Bengals wisely attacked the trenches early in the 2015 NFL Draft, coming away with studs in Jake Fisher and Cedric Ogbuehi. Both Fisher and Ogbuehi are top-20 talents and can play all over the offensive line, yet Marvin Lewis and co. got them both inside the first 53 picks. Those two selections should ease any concerns on the o-line, while Cincy also added depth at tight end via Tyler Kroft and inside linebacker with the addition of Paul Dawson. Both are arguable steals in round three, while Dawson was regarded by many as a first or second round talent. Cornerback Josh Shaw and safety Derron Smith round out Cincy’s impact players out of this year’s draft, as Shaw has the versatility and athleticism to help out at either corner or safety and Smith could be a major steal if he can just stay healthy.
Round One - Pick 21: Cedric Ogbuehi, OG, Texas A&M
Round Two - Pick 53: Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon
Round Three - Pick 85: Tyler Kroft, TE, Rutgers
Round Three - Pick 99: Paul Dawson, LB, TCU
Round Four - Pick 120: Josh Shaw, CB, USC
Round Four - Pick 135: Marcus Hardison, DE, Arizona State
Round Five - Pick 157: C.J. Uzomah, TE, Auburn
Round Six - Pick 197: Derron Smith, S, Fresno State
Round Seven - Pick 238: Mario Alford, WR, West Virginia
It was yet another stellar showing in the draft for the Bengals, who reeled in nine new prospects. See the full list below:
4-9-15: The Cincinnati Bengals had a solid defense yet again in 2014, but it doesn’t look like they’re content with the results from a year ago. In an effort to get better on that side of the ball, Cincy has retained inside linebacker Rey Maualuga, brought in former Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk and brought back former Bengals pass rusher, Michael Johnson. The team didn’t ignore the offensive side of the ball, of course, as they kept their offensive line intact by keeping both Clint Boling and Eric Winston in town. Cincinnati could still use some adjustments on the defensive line, but will likely wait until April’s draft to make a move in that area of their roster.
3-9-15: Marvin Lewis remains in Cincinnati after yet another trip to the playoffs, but Bengals fans are undoubtedly wondering when a playoff win is coming. Some still don’t think Andy Dalton is the answer at quarterback, but he’s just that for at least one more season. He’ll get a minor upgrade at tight end, with Tyler Eifert looking to break out in the wake of Jermaine Gresham departing in free agency. With most everything on offense spoken for, Cincy’s main adjustments will be to a solid but inconsistent defense in 2015. Cincinnati already retained linebacker Rey Maualuga and will look to acquire depth behind him and Vontaze Burfict. The Bengals also have had shaky play across their defensive line, so they’ll use free agency and the draft to beef up their pass rush and run defense.
1-5-15: The Bengals were unable to get much offense going in Indianapolis without star receiver A.J. Green, who missed Sunday’s contest due to a concussion that he suffered in Week 17. As a result, Marvin Lewis, Andy Dalton and the Bengals were once again bounced out in the first round of the playoffs, as they fell to the Colts, 26-10.
12-29-14: The Bengals lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 27-17, on Sunday night, missing out on a chance to have a home playoff game. Andy Dalton completed 27 of his 38 passing attempts for 244 yards and two touchdowns, but he was intercepted twice. On the bright side, Jeremy Hill ran for 100 yards on 23 carries.
12-23-14: On Monday night, the Bengals defeated the Denver Broncos, 37-28, to clinch a playoff spot for the fourth straight year. Jeremy Hill carried the rushing load again, as he rushed the ball 22 times for 147 yards and a touchdown. Cincinnati intercepted Peyton Manning four times in the Week 16 victory.
12-17-14: The visiting Bengals dominated Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, as Cincinnati scored in all four quarters en route to a 30-0 drubbing of Cleveland. Jeremy Hill rushed 25 times for 148 yards and two touchdowns to help the Bengals win their fourth consecutive game away from Paul Brown Stadium.
12-9-14: Although neither the Bengals nor the Steelers scored in the first quarter in Cincinnati on Sunday, they combined for 63 points the rest of the game. At the end of the third quarter, Andy Dalton scored his third touchdown of the contest as he completed an 81-yard pass to A.J. Green. However, Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell were too much for the Bengals as the Steelers won, 42-21.
12-3-14: The Bengals found themselves down, 10-0, on Sunday in Tampa Bay through most of the first half. However, Andy Dalton led a touchdown drive near the end of the second quarter. He scored Cincinnati’s first points of the game on a five-yard run. Then, A.J. Green caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from Dalton with a couple minutes remaining in the third quarter, which gave the Bengals the lead for good. They moved to 8-3-1 with the victory.
11-26-14: A.J. Green caught a season-best 12 passes on Sunday for 121 yards, which accounted for more than half of Andy Dalton’s passing yardage in the Bengals’ 22-13 victory over the Houston Texans on Sunday. Unfortunately, Cincinnati right tackle Andre Smith suffered a torn triceps in the contest and is done for the season.
11-19-14: Andy Dalton, Jeremy Hill and A.J. Green helped the Bengals bounce back to beat the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, 27-10. Dalton threw for three touchdowns, Hill ran for 152 yards and Green caught six passes for 127 yards and a touchdown. Cincinnati expects to get Giovani Bernard back for Week 12.
11-12-14: The Bengals really missed Giovani Bernard on Thursday when they hosted the Cleveland Browns. Cincinnati mustered only three points in the contest, and backup quarterback Jason Campbell even made an appearance. Andy Dalton struggled in the loss, as he completed just 10 of his 33 passing attempts and was intercepted three times.
11-5-14: Jeremy Hill battled a knee injury and led the Bengals to a 33-23 win over the JacksonvilleJaguars on Sunday. He scored a fourth-quarter 60-yard touchdown, which sealed the victory. He accumulated 154 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the day. Andy Dalton racked up 233 yards and two touchdowns through the air.
10-29-14: The Bengals finally won since having their bye week. Even without A.J. Green, they were able to beat the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday in Cincinnati. Andy Dalton’s one-yard rushing touchdown with less than one minute remaining gave the Bengals the 27-24 victory. Cincinnati looks to move to 5-2-1 next week when hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars.
10-21-14: The Bengals have not had such a good time on the field since entering their bye week with a 3-0 record. After being blown out by the New England Patriots in Week 5 and having to settle with a tie in Week 6 when they hosted the Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati could not even score in Week 7. The A.J. Green-less Bengals lost to the Indianapolis Colts, 27-0.
10-14-14: The Bengals were on the verge of moving to 4-1 in 2014, but Mike Nugent missed a 36-yard field goal, which would have won the game in overtime. Without A.J. Green in the lineup, Andy Dalton’s offense revolved around Giovani Bernard and Mohamed Sanu. Although Bernard left the game due to a right shoulder injury, he returned to control the rushing game as he saw the contest end in a tie.
10-8-14: The early bye week did not help the Bengals. It seemed that their extra time to prepare for the New England Patriots was not beneficial because Cincinnati lost, 43-17. Andy Dalton and the Bengals are hoping that this game was an anomaly after allowing just 33 combined points in the first three weeks of the season.
10-1-14: With the Bengals on bye this week, they remain one of two undefeated teams in the NFL this season. The other 3-0 football squad is the Arizona Cardinals, who Cincinnati faced in its third preseason game. The Bengals have increased their margin of victory in each of the weeks this regular season, but they would be satisfied with a win by any point differential this upcoming Sunday night in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
9-25-14: Cincinnati scored the first 33 points of Sunday’s game in its rout of the visiting Tennessee Titans. The undefeated Bengals scored in every quarter, as they continue to play very well at home. A.J. Green’s toe injury did not look good in Week 2 as he left that game in the first quarter, but he returned the following week to catch six passes for 102 yards.
9-17-14: The Bengals’ defense took Matt Ryan out of his game after he had a terrific Week 1. On the other side of the ball, Andy Dalton threw for 252 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown to Mohamed Sanu. Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill each scored a touchdown as well, but A.J. Green left the game after suffering a foot injury in the first quarter.
9-10-14: Bengals fans breathed a sigh of relief as A.J. Green continued his dominating play downfield. After Cincinnati lost its lead, he caught a deep pass from Andy Dalton and ran for the 77-yard go-ahead touchdown that gave the Bengals the victory against the division-rival Baltimore Ravens. Unfortunately, Vontaze Burfict suffered a concussion and Tyler Eifert was forced out of the game due to an elbow injury.
9-4-14: The Bengals will be in Baltimore on Sunday for their regular-season opener. Backup running back Jeremy Hill looks ready to be an important part of Andy Dalton’s offense. The rookie rushed 20 times for 90 yards and caught all six of his targets for 70 yards in the Bengals’ preseason finale last Thursday night. Cincinnati then released veteran running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis the next day.
8-26-14: Last week, the Bengals and linebacker Vontaze Burfict agreed on a four-year, $20 million contract extension. Then, on Sunday, Cincinnati won its first game of the preseason. The Bengals scored the first points of the game on a Terence Newman 54-yard interception return for a touchdown. Although Cincinnati did not score an offensive touchdown, the team’s two kickers combined to make all four of their field goal attempts.
8-19-14: The Bengals fell to 0-2 on the preseason with their 25-17 loss to the visiting New York Jets. However, Andy Dalton had a fantastic game, as he completed all eight of his passes and threw for a touchdown. Unfortunately, he will be without receiver Marvin Jones for at least the first few weeks of the regular season after he had foot surgery.
8-14-14: The Bengals played a very high-scoring game on Thursday in Kansas City, but fell to the Chiefs, 41-39. Jason Campbell, who was backing up Andy Dalton, threw two touchdowns and two interceptions, but suffered an arm injury. With A.J. McCarron already hurting, the Bengals decided to sign quarterback Tyler Wilson to help them with depth at the position.
8-5-14: On Monday, the Bengals reportedly reached an agreement with Andy Dalton on a six-year extension worth more $100 million. Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson praised running back Giovani Bernard this past week for his excellence during training camp. Entering his sophomore season, Bernard will be in line for more than the 170 carries that he received in 2013. Bernard, who also caught more than 50 passes last season, will look to build on his rookie year starting on Thursday in the Bengals’ preseason opener in Kansas City.
7-30-14: The Cincinnati Bengals are definitely gearing up to be more run-based on offense in 2014. Early whispers suggest second-year sensation Giovani Bernard could get over 300 total touches this year, while rookie running back Jeremy Hill could fend off veteran back BenJarvus Green-Ellis for top backup duties. In fact, Green-Ellis could be in a battle with reserve running back Rex Burkhead for Cincinnati’s final spot in the backfield. In injury news, tight end Tyler Eifert (shoulder) is now back to full strength, while fellow tight end Jermaine Gresham has opened camp on the PUP list. Joining Gresham on the PUP list are defensive tackle Geno Atkins and offensive lineman Mike Pollak. On the bright side, cornerback Leon Hall was activated off the PUP list and wide receiver Marvin Jones is also improving after injuring his ankle at a post-OTA practice.
7-15-14: Cincinnati has begun to let word spread about their offensive philosophy as they creep closer to their July 21st training camp. Although it was widely assumed so, the Bengals are reportedly leaning toward more of a “ball possession” offense, where they will take the ball out of quarterback Andy Dalton’s hands more and try to control the game with their rushing attack. The team will also look to take advantage of their depth and talent at the tight end position, as they try to use Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham together to create mismatches. Cincinnati has managed to stay relatively healthy during the off-season, but could actually be getting an injured player back. Guard Clint Boling (knee) is reportedly recovering quite well from a torn ACL he sustained in week 13 and could be back in time for camp.
6-5-14: Veteran running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis could be on his way out of Cincy, as rookie running back Jeremy Hill is already running ahead of him at OTAs. Giovani Bernard is expected to enter 2014 as the Bengals’ top running back and the younger Hill could supplant “The Law Firm” as Gio’s top backup. Cincy has some troubling news on the injury end, as stud interior defensive lineman Geno Atkins is still not a lock to return by week one, while second-year tight end Tyler Eifert is missing crucial practice reps due to a shoulder injury. Eifert might be OK despite the missed time, however, as fellow tight end Jermaine Gresham is also out with an undisclosed issue.
5-19-14: Some wondered if the Cincinnati Bengals might spend a first round pick on a successor for Andy Dalton. Cincy might have thought about it, but ultimately they simply decided to take the best available players off of their draft board. Let’s see how they did in the 2014 NFL Draft:
Round 1. Pick 24 Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan St.
Round 2. Pick 23 Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU
Round 3. Pick 24 Will Clarke, DL, West Virginia
Round 4. Pick 11 Russell Bodine, OG, North Carolina
Round 5. Pick 24 A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama
Round 6. Pick 36 Marquis Flowers, LB, Arizona
Round 7. Pick 24 James Wright, WR, LSU
Round 7. Pick 37 Lavelle Westbrooks, CB, Georgia Southern
The Bengals needed help at corner and they got it. They probably never expected the draft’s (arguably) best overall corner to fall to them, but when Darqueze Dennard did, they didn’t ask any questions. Dennard has the ability to start and lock down one side right away, but at the very worst projects as a long-term starter thanks to rapid aging at the position in Cincinnati.
Jeremy Hill was a nice value pick in round two, but not necessarily at a position of need. However, he’s a better talent than BenJarvus Green-Ellis, so perhaps this pick is the writing on the wall for The Law Firm.
Cincinnati did a solid job grabbing depth pieces like Will Clarke and Russell Bodine for the offensive and defensive lines, but they exited this year’s draft with one glaring hole: no safety.
5-9-14: With talent brought onto the offense in last year’s draft, everyone knew the Bengals had to focus on rounding out the depth on the defensive ball this year. That’s exactly what they did to start round one, as they addressed an aging secondary with quite possibly the best overall cornerback in the draft in Darqueze Dennard. The Michigan State product isn’t the fastest corner, but he has a great skill-set and is a physical corner that can play in all types of coverage. Cincy has just one young corner to work with, so landing another is great for their depth and long-term health at the position.
4-28-14: Is Andy Dalton the guy that can get playoff wins in Cincinnati? For now, it looks like the Bengals believe he is, so on the offensive side of the ball, there isn’t much reason to look much deeper. Cincy added two offensive players early in the draft last year and they seem to be pretty much covered there. That means they’ll likely spend much of the 2014 NFL Draft making a very good defense even better. That could mean an early pick on a linebacker, safety, defensive lineman or cornerback. Safety appears to be the biggest need with middling talent starting there for years now, making Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or Calvin Pryor tempting picks if they’re still around when the Bengals pick in the first round. They could also opt for a different position and then cross their fingers they can land someone like Dion Bailey or Jimmie Ward in the second round.
4-18-14: With three straight trips under his belt Andy Dalton will roll into the preseason with his Cincinnati Bengals trying to overcome a few remaining flaws. The Cincinnati Bengals preseason schedule should assist in doing that, giving Cincy a tough opponent right out of the gates in the Kansas City Chiefs. The Bengals return home in week two to welcome Rex Ryan’s New York Jets, and then kick it out to the desert to battle the Arizona Cardinals. Cincy will try to shutdown Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald in their key game of the preseason, while this could also be a good measuring stick for Dalton heading into the regular season. Arizona’s spare players will fight for a gig in the finale, when the Bengals host the Indianapolis Colts.
4-7-14: The Cincinnati Bengals have been extremely quiet thus far this offseason, letting stud pass rusher Michael Johnson and solid offensive tackle Anthony Collins leave for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Slot receiver Andrew Hawkins also got away to the Cleveland Browns, as the Bengals managed only minor signing in safety Danieal Manning, offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse, quarterback Jason Campbell and cornerback R.J. Stanford. Despite three straight trips to the playoffs, a fairly talented Bengals team will enter the draft with numerous questions - specifically in the secondary and on the defensive line.
3-21-14: The Bengals have slowly improved over the last three years, making the playoffs each time and building up their core of young talent. Marvin Lewis and co. hope to keep things going in that direction in 2014, but the only way to do so is to have a stellar offseason. So far, Cincy has done enough to have Bengals fans keeping the faith. The cats shed some dead weight in linebacker James Harrison, while adding some more flash to their offense in shifty slot receiver Andrew Hawkins. Cincy is likely destined to lose stud pass rusher Michael Johnson in free agency, but overall did well to hold onto depth pieces. They didn’t make any huge splashes, but will likely try to do so in the early rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft
1-7-14: Andy Dalton seemed poised to bust out of his playoff funk after a stellar 2013 regular season, but that wouldn’t end up being the case in a rough 27-10 loss to the visiting San Diego Chargers. Dalton managed to pass for over 300 yards and a touchdown, but threw two picks and lost a fumble late that helped ice the game for San Diego. The Chargers played ball control offense, pounding the rock with an effective trio of Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead and Ronnie Brown. Philip Rivers was needed so little that he attempted only 16 passes and had just 128 passing yards.
The wild card playoff loss ends Cincy’s 2013 season and puts a few things in doubt for 2014. Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden is expected to jet for a head coaching gig, while another poor performance by Dalton may have the Bengals questioning if he is the guy to trust in under center for the long haul.
12-31-13: Andy Dalton almost single-handedly let the Baltimore Ravens walk into the playoffs. And then he buried them. Dalton overcame four horrible interceptions to account for three touchdowns, as the Bengals broke a 17-17 tie and ran away with a 34-17 win at home.
12-24-13: Andy Dalton threw four touchdowns and spoiled Adrian Peterson’s return to the starting lineup as the Bengals took care of business at home in a 42-14 thrashing of the Minnesota Vikings. With the Bengals struggling in the running game, Cincy took to the air, putting up 366 passing yards as the Bengals claimed the AFC North division title.
12-17-13: The Bengals entered week 15 as the darlings of the AFC North. They left without any progression. The Steelers jumped out to a formidable 24-0 lead early and Andy Dalton’s efforts were simply too little, too late in a tough 30-20 loss in Pittsburgh.
12-10-13: Andy Dalton accounted for four touchdowns in week 14, as the Bengals took advantage of an early 21-0 lead over the visiting Indianapolis Colts and held on for the convincing 42-28 home win. The week 14 victory was one of Cincy’s most impressive of the year and lined them up to win the AFC North division.
12-3-13: The Cincinnati Bengals opted for a defensive battle in week 13 when they traveled to San Diego to take on the Chargers. As it turns out, that was a wise decisions. BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard helped keep Philip Rivers and the San Diego offense off the field and the Cincy defense did the rest in a close 17-10 road win for the cats.
11-19-13: Cincinnati had seen better days on the offensive side of the football. Down 13-0 at home in the first half, it’s a good thing their defense was about to see their best yet. The Bengals rebounded from their early hole to block two punts and return two defensive touchdowns in what would be a franchise record 31-point second quarter. The Bengals played conservative football the rest of the way, holding on for the 41-20 win at home over the Cleveland Browns.
11-12-13: Andy Dalton had his second straight head-scratcher of a performance with three interceptions and five taken sacks, but Bengals fans nearly forgot all of that thanks to an insane hail mary to A.J. Green that sent a game that was certainly lost into overtime. The Bengals had a chance to take the lead on a long field goal in the extra period, but head coach unwisely decided to go for it on fourth and two. Cincinnati failed to convert, giving the Ravens a short field that quickly led to the 20-17 win for the Ravens in Baltimore.
11-5-13: The Cincinnati Bengals were searching for a fourth straight elite performance out of rising quarterback Andy Dalton. In week nine, they didn’t get it. Only a week after tossing five touchdown passes, Dalton was a turnover machine, as he gave the ball away four times and took a game-ending safety in the end-zone to give the Miami Dolphins the win, 22-20 in overtime.
10-30-13: Andy Dalton, aka the Red Rifle, was unflappable for the third straight week, as he tossed five touchdowns (four to Marvin Jones) and led the Bengals to a 49-9 home whooping over the New York Jets. Cincy’s defense deserves just as much credit as the offense in this one, as they racked up four sacks and two interceptions in a truly dominant effort to help raise Cincy up to a stellar 6-2 record.
10-22-13: It was a battle of stud wide receivers in week seven, as Cincinnati’s A.J. Green put up 155 receiving yards and a touchdown against Calvin Johnson’s 155 yards and two scores. Johnson won the individual battle, but it was Green’s Bengals who got the last laugh. Cincy’s rushing attack found yardage hard to come by in this one, but leaned on quarterback Andy Dalton throughout, and he responded with a banner day, tossing three touchdowns and topping 370 yards in the big 27-24 road win.
10-15-13: The Cincinnati Bengals were supposed to steamroll a Buffalo Bills team that was playing without starting quarterback E.J. Manuel. Instead, they engaged in a shootout with former practice squad resident Thad Lewis and took this one to overtime. They had the last laugh in the end, however, as Mike Nugent booted the game-winning field goal in the extra period to allow Cincy to steal a road win, 27-24. Andy Dalton was the star of the day for the Bengals, as he tossed three touchdowns and had 337 passing yards to put an end to a bit of a personal drought.
10-8-13: Two weeks after finding a way to keep Aaron Rodgers at bay, the Cincinnati Bengals doubled up and found a way to make Tom Brady and the Patriots look average. Cincy’s aggressive pass-rush rattled Brady for much of the day, sacked him four times and forced a late-game interception in a narrow 13-6 win at home. The Bengals also forced a LeGarrette Blount fumble and became the first defense to keep Brady out of the end-zone for the first time in 52 games. Andy Dalton was average at quarterback for the Bengals again, but was at least very efficient, as he completed over 70% of his passes and let the Cincy ground game control the tempo.
10-1-13: The Cincinnati Bengals were riding high after a big comeback win over the Green Bay Packers a week ago. That high wouldn’t last long. In the first meeting of the “battle of Ohio”, the Bengals looked out of sync throughout as they got completely out-played by the seemingly less talented Cleveland Browns. Quarterback Andy Dalton was flat-out ineffective for the entire game, turning the ball over two times, while finding difficulty in getting star wide receiver A.J. Green the ball despite a whopping 15 targets. Rookie running back Giovani Bernard was the “star” for Cincy in this one, as the offense could only muster of two field goals in an ugly 17-6 road loss to the Browns.
9-20-13: Week two was capped off by an ugly defensive battle between AFC North rivals, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. This one understandably was a rugged dogfight, as the two teams entered halftime with the score knotted at 10. Not much changed in the final two quarters, but Bengals rookie running back Giovani Bernard did manage to put the game away with some timely offense, including his second touchdown of the night. The Bengals defense also held Ben Roethlisberger in check, sacking him twice and picking off a pass. In the end, it was a 20-10 win for the Bengals. Next week, the Bengals look to move to 2-1 when they host Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
9-10-13: Andy Dalton walked into a tough matchup on the road against the Chicago Bears and got things started off the wrong way with an interception on his first offensive play. He was able to rebound thanks to a freakish game from star wide receiver A.J. Green (160+ yards and 2 TDs), but two turnovers and ineffectiveness in the second half allowed Jay Cutler and the Bears to climb back into it. Down 21-10 at one point, the Bears staged a comeback in front of their home crowd, taking their week one battle, 24-21. Next week, the Bengals host the Steelers on Monday Night to open up their 2013 home schedule.
9-3-13: Here are the Bengals final roster cuts of the preseason: QB John Skelton, FB John Connor, T Dennis Roland, LS Bryce Davis, S Tony Dye, T Reid Fragel, WR Cobi Hamilton, RB Daniel Herron, C T.J. Johnson, CB Chris Lewis-Harris, CB Onterio McCalebb, DE Dontay Moch, CB Shaun Prater, WR Taveon Rogers, WR Roy Roundtree, LB J.K. Schaffer, DT Terrence Stephens, G John Sullen and LB Bruce Taylor.
8-20-13: Cincinnati improved to 2-0 on the preseason with their 27-19 win over the Titans last weekend. Andy Dalton completed 9 of 14 passes for 115 yards and a touchdown. Dan Herron rushed it 9 times for 81 yards and a 40-yard TD run. Rookie Giovani Bernard also ran for a TD. The Bengals defense also held the Titans starters zero points (3 missed field goals). The Bengals head to Dallas to take on the Cowboys next weekend.
8-11-13: The Bengals beat the Falcons 34-10 in their preseason opener. QB Josh Johnson, who is competing with John Skelton for the backup job behind starter Andy Dalton, was 9 for 16 from the field for 100 yards and a TD. Skelton completed 4 of his 5 passes for 72 yards and a TD, and Dalton completed just 3 of his 7 passes for 37 yards. Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis and had 10 carries for 28.
7-10-13: The Cincinnati Bengals were among the best pass-rushing teams in 2012, and should only improve in that area with the addition of former Steeler linebacker James Harrison. Elsewhere, Cincy got better on offense by drafting explosive running back Giovani Bernard. At this point, only Andy Dalton’s continued development can prevent the Bengals from a third straight playoff appearance.
6-25-13: Once regular losers, the orange and black cats of the NFL have rebounded nicely since the days of Carson Palmer, and now own back to back playoff appearances under the guidance of young signal caller Andy Dalton. Backed by an elite defense and an improved rushing attack, the Bengals will try to make it three straight trips to post-season play in 2013.
2013 Bengals Draft Overview:
Round 1, Pick 21: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Round 2, Pick 5 (from Oakland): Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina
Round 2, Pick 21: Margus Hunt, DE, Southern Methodist
Round 3, Pick 22: Shawn Williams, SS, Georgia
Round 4, Pick 21: Sean Porter, LB, Texas A&M
Round 5, Pick 23: Tanner Hawkinson, OT, Kansas
Round 6, Pick 22: Rex Burkhead, RB, Nebraska
Round 6, Pick 29 (from New England): Cobi Hamilton, WR, Arkansas
Round 7, Pick 34 (Compensatory Selection): Reid Fragel, OT, Ohio State
Round 7, Pick 45 (Compensatory Selection): T.J. Johnson, C, South Carolina
1-9-13: For the second straight year the Bengals made the playoffs and lost to the Houston Texans. Behind young quarterback Andy Dalton the Bengals won 10 games finishing second in their division. After losing four straight in early October, the Bengals went and impressive 7-1 the rest of the way including wins against the Giants, Steelers, and Ravens. Against the Texans in the playoffs they were unable to get any sort of consistent offense going as Dalton threw for only 127 yards. As a team they could also only manage 13 points and 6 of them were scored on an interception returned for a touchdown. Star Wide Receiver AJ Green didn’t catch a single ball in the first half but finished 5 catches for 80 yards. The Bengals should remain strong going forward because they have a good young quarterback and some strong talent at the skill positions, they should continue getting better every year.
12-4-12: A four game mid-season losing streak has the Bengals where they are; tied for second place with a 1-3 division record. With four games left, QB Andy Dalton will have to have a strong finish if the Bengals want to get into the playoffs. Dalton has had a strong year with 24 touchdown passes to only 13 interceptions. December 23rd’s matchup in Pittsburgh seems like it will be a deciding factor in both those teams playoff futures.