Team Name: Cincinnati Bengals
Division: AFC North
Stadium: Paul Brown Stadium (Cincinnati, OH)
2013 Record: 11-5
Head Coach: Marvin Lewis (2003 – present), seems like a chill dude, could be the next Lovie Smith (axed after a year with a winning record) if they don’t get a playoff win this year (but probably not)
Quarterback: Andy Dalton (2011 – present), the only red-headed quarterback in the league, got made fun of on Hard Knocks for wearing a rubber wedding ring
3 Offensive Players You Should Know:
– A.J. Green, Wide Receiver (18) – Superstar wide receiver. He usually goes in the top 10 of any fantasy football draft and his highlight reels are super entertaining as a result of his athletic abilities.
– Giovani Bernard, Running Back (25) – Drafted in 2013 to be their featured running back. He’s kind of adorable. On Hard Knocks we found out he drove his girlfriend’s mom mini-van as a rookie. He also really likes the restaurant chain Red Robin.
– Mohamed Sanu, Wide Receiver (12) – This year he has been throwing and receiving touchdown passes, which is pretty cool.
3 Defensive Players You Should Know:
– Geno Atkins, Defensive Tackle (97) – Drafted in 2010, he signed a 5-year $55 million contract extension last year and then proceeded to tear his ACL. He’s one of the best defensive tackles in the league.
– Margus Hunt, Defensive End (99) – He’s super tall (6′ 8″) and has a really cool accent because he’s from Estonia. He’s also got an 82″ wingspan. Do the math…that’s 6′ 10″ from fingertip to fingertip. Guess that’s why he ended up on a list of Freakish College Athletes the year that he was drafted. Before football, he was a former discus thrower junior world record holder.
– Vontaze Burfict, Linebacker (55) – Burfict lead the league in tackles with 171 in 2013. He signed a 4-year contract extension in August with the team. He’s having concussion issues this year.
What Happened This Offseason:
– Cincy lost both their offensive and defensive coordinators. Jay Gruden went off to Washington to take the head coach position and Mike Zimmer did the same in Minnesota.
– Andy Dalton got a big contract. When everyone heard about this they were like, really, you want to pay him how much? Andy is a good quarterback, but a 6-year year, $115 million contract extension seemed like a lot. Upon reading the fine-print (guaranteed amount, yearly payouts), the contract made a little more sense. It definitely shows a commitment to Andy, which people question because he hasn’t been able to win in the post-season.
– Geno Atkins tore his ACL last year, which was a huge loss for Bengals. He’s back this year.
Why You Should Cheer for Them: The Bengals haven’t had a playoff game victory since 1991. Bummer. Put on your black and orange and cheer for them if you think this is sad and it’s time for them to finally get a postseason win. The team has the potential to do it this year. Also, Hue Jackson, in his first year as Offensive Coordinator, was extremely entertaining in the 2013 version of Hard Knocks.
2014 Theme Song: Eye of the Tiger (Survivor) – Sorry for the obvious choice (Bengals = tigers), but the never give-up-mentality of this song matches the team’s attitude this year.
The Last Word: The Bengals got off to a strong start this season and until their week 5 loss in New England, were one of two remaining unbeaten teams. Look for a focus on the running game with some top receivers dealing with injuries (A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert). They tend to beat each other up within the AFC North, so all of those games should be close. That said, there’s a good chance that the Bengals could win the division.
– Michelle and Val