Bengals: Early Recon

Recon Report: Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals impressed going 9-7 in 2011 with rookie quarterback Andy Dalton who put up solid numbers. Part of the success was in rookie speedster receiver A.J. Green who totaled 1057 yards, with 7 TD’s.  The defense was solid ranking just 9th against the pass and 10th against the run.

STRENGTH: Passing Game & Defense

Defense: 

You have to respect defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, he’s developed a strong unit.  Standouts defensive tackles Geno Atkins (7.5 sacks), Robert Geathers provides pressure (9.5 sacks in 2011). Domata Peko returns to keep their front stout. Although DE Pat Sims was placed on PUP list and the team didn’t re-sign DT Jonathan Fanene, the unit remains in tact and should be strong this year.   Safety might be interesting this year for the Bengals as they could go with Taylor Mays (former first round pick of the 49ers). Leon Hall and Terrence Newman add experience to the corner position. Leon Hall and Nate Clements are back as the starters, but Adam Jones, Jason Allen and Dre Kirkpatrick have barely played during the preseason. Top draft selection cornerback Dre Kirpatrick, hasn’t many snaps in preseason due to a minor knee injury (tendentious).

Offense:

Andy Dalton heads into his second year with a lot of confidence. In 2011 he compiled 3,398 yards, 20 TD’s and 13 Int’s. He had a solid season and led his team to a shot at the playoffs (Wild-Card appearance). Dalton is durable and started all 16 games.

The offense has plenty of weapons in the passing game with play-makers such as, tight end  Jermaine Gresham, receiver AJ Green and rookie Mohammad Sanu. The offense added veteran receiver/returner Brandon Tate.

BIGGEST QUESTION MARKS:

  • Offensive line

The offensive line is dealing with injuries. First, the team lost left guard offensive lineman Travelle Wharton for the year and now center Kyle Cook has an ankle injury that might be more severe than thought–he could miss significant amount of time. The  team recently signed center Jeff Faine. In the draft the team added, Kevin Zeithelr C/OG.

  • Rushing Attack: 

Where you might think the team took a step back is the rushing attack.

The unit is minus Cedric Benson who rushed for 1067 yards, but his average was 3.9 yards a carry. This year the offense is counting on \ recently acquired BenJarvus Green-Ellis.  2010 was a breakout year with New England rushing for 1008 yards.   In 2011 he rushed for 667 yards, 3.7 ave., with 11 TD’s.  Green Ellis must be the workhorse for this unit–he is coming off a toe injury suffered this preseason. The unit also carries three other backs in Bernard Scott, Brian Leonard and Cedric Peerman. The primary back-up  Scott, missed the entire preseason with a hand injury and is questionable versus the Ravens.

 

Monday Night Game Plan

Defense: Attack the Bengals makeshift offensive line with stunts and blitzes. Offense: Get the ball downfield– the Bengals are not quite up to speed in the secondary. Also: get Ray Rice out in the flat versus the Bengals linebacking core.

 

Related: 

“Key Additions:RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (from Patriots), RG Kevin Zeitler (1st Round, Wisconsin), WR Mohamed Sanu (3rd Round, Rutgers), DT Brandon Thompson (3rd Round, Clemson), DT Devon Still (2nd Round, Penn State), DE Jamaal Anderson (from Colts), CB Dre Kirkpatrick (1st Round, Alabama), CB Terence Newman (from Cowboys), CB Jason Allen (from Texans)

KEY DEPARTURES: RB Cedric Benson (to Packers), WR Jerome Simpson (to Vikings), LG Nate Livings (to Cowboys), RG Bobbie Williams (to Ravens), DE Frostee Rucker (to Browns), SS Chris Crocker (released), WR Jordan Shipley (to Buccaneers), WR Andre Caldwell (to Broncos), TE Bo Scaife (free agent), C Mike McGlynn (to Colts), DT Jonathan Fanene (to Patriots), OLB Brandon Johnson (to Steelers), CB Kelly Jennings (free agent), S Gibril Wilson (free agent)”

 
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