• I ain't afraid of no ghost!!

      If there's something strange in your neighborhood who are you going to call, Ghostbusters.

      So many fans don't believe that the Bengals can make the playoffs this year with the hard schedule they have. I'm going to predict that they lead the division with a 12-4 record. Here at Bengals Jungle I am the only one that has made this prediction. So to bust the ghost I am going to tell you why.

      First off, let's talk about team improvement. I believe the biggest improvement will be our rookie running back. Giovani Bernard is a type of running back that we haven't had here since Chris Perry. And although Perry didn't work out in the long run he did improve the team in 2005. He was someone who had the speed to get outside the tackles and able to catch screen passes. Bernard is the same type of back. Like in 2005 with Rudi Johnson we have our work horse running back in Green Ellis. Our running back position now has a one two punch.

      Before draft. I said that the Bengals would not draft a wide receiver at the top of the draft. I believed like the Bengals believed that we had our starting wide receivers already on the team..
      Marvin Jones is able to play outside and stretch the field. Sanu is the perfect slot receiver, is tough while blocking and while catching the ball. With AJ Green we have the tools we need at wide receiver. So there was no need to draft a wide receiver early. We just needed taller wide receivers for depth.

      Next improvement was adding a tight end. Not necessarily a need, but we picked up Tyler Eifert in the first round that improves our options on offense. With Gresham, Charles, and Eifert. We now have the option to go 2 or 3 TE set. Which is an advantage over teams with small defensive backs.

      In two years the Bengals have improved the offense by 100%. The Bengals have the option of now playing a fast pace speed football game or a slow beat the other team down football game. The unit I did not mention was the offensive line. Although the line has question marks. It should be much better with a year of experience for three starters that play last year.

      We had a top 10 defense last year. So I am not going to break that down, but it should improve also.

      Now to schedule. First I'm going to list the teams with the same or better record than the Bengals last year. They are the Bears, Packers, Patriots, Ravens, Colts and Vikings. Three of those teams had exact same record. One was the Super Bowl champs from our division. So let's start with the Ravens. I believe the Bengals will be better than the Ravens this year. The Ravens loss their top three linebackers and their top two safeties. That is a lot to lose on one unit. Plus they lost their top receiver. Bengals may just sweep the AFC North division.

      The Bears. Although they had 10-6 record only beat two teams with a winning record. The Colts and the Vikings. The Vikings beat San Francisco, Houston, and split with Green Bay and Chicago. Green Bay that was Chicago and Minnesota and beat Houston. New England beat Houston, Denver and Indianapolis. The Bengals beat Redskins Giants and Ravens. So when I look at all the winning teams that we play this year. Our record against winning teams is just as good as all of them but Minnesota. So I will stick by my prediction and say the Bengals win the division with a 12-4 record.
      I ain't afraid of no ghosts.
      Comments 12 Comments
      1. BlazerBenner's Avatar
        BlazerBenner -
        You still haven't made a case for which teams they will beat and why. Until then, it's just a fantasy dream with no substance.
      1. Super Cat's Avatar
        Super Cat -
        Ok here you go.
        Bears, Bengals win because Trestman is a NFL QB coach, not an NFL head coach. Been in league since 1984 and only now getting the chance. LeBeau coaching clone.
        Steelers, Bengals win because they want it more and frankly have a much better team.
        Packers, toss up game. I believe our defense can get to Rogers better than any other team and their defense isn't that good.
        Browns, Bengals win. No matter how much people talk up the Browns, they just don't have the tools yet.
        Patriots, Bengals win. They don't have the short passing game or the long passing game early in season without Gron or Welker and Hernandez isn't that healthy either.
        Bills, Bengals win, another team that is given more credit than it deserves.
        Lions , this may be the toughest battle to date. They have the team, they just need a leader.
        Jets, lost in space. Bengals win.
        Your dream team, but it is just a dream. Bengals win big.
        Ravens lost a lot. Not good enough to win division but will be good enough to beat other team on it's schedule. Bengals take at least one of two games from them. If Marvin doesn't hold them back. The sky is the limit.
        Browns, Bengals make it 2. Chargers, they missed the boat last year, all down hill from there.
        Colts, Bengals win, Zimmer isn't going to let Luck have any time in pocket.
        Steelers again. Bengals better team but only have lost 1 or 2 games at this point. They start to coast into the playoffs.
        Viking, this game could go either way. It all depends on who needs a win the most.
        Ravens, this could be the split game. Bengals or Ravens win first one. The other one wins this one.
        Bengals and Denver have the byes for playoffs.
      1. BlazerBenner's Avatar
        BlazerBenner -
        16-0, huh?

        OK.
      1. Stryker57's Avatar
        Stryker57 -
        16-0 lol 12-4 maybe with luck but i expect at least 1-2 games to be lost due to coaching/Special teams/ weird end of game play. so i went with 10-6
      1. Super Cat's Avatar
        Super Cat -
        Quote Originally Posted by BlazerBenner View Post
        16-0, huh?

        OK.
        If you look at the prediction thread I said 12-4 and I will stick by it. Not one team will dominate the Bengals. If you look at last two years. Not one team dominated the Bengals other than Raven open season win. And that was without Bengals having offensive weapons who have been with team more than two years. The Bengals only lost 1 game out of last 8.
        So lets look back. Bengals had three offensive linemen starting for first time with Bengals to start season. Faine, Zeitler and Boling. Then it became Robinson, Zeitler and Boling. Our running back started his first time with Bengals. Fact is, only three players on offense was with the team for 3 years. Whitworth, Smith and Gresham. Now if the Bengals can go 10-6 with all the odds stacked against thgem. Then they surely can do it with an OL with at least one year of experience together. A runningback that now knows the system and his linemen. And receivers who were drafted last year that now knows the system and is healthy. Along with a OC who now can throw any kind of formation at you and have the weapons to do it.
        If you can't see that the offense will be 100% better and the defense should be at least as good. Then you have your eyes closed. I didn't even mention draft choices.
        Tell me do you think NE will be as good as last year? Or Baltimore or Pittsburgh? Only team I can see improving who made playoffs is Green Bay. Peterson isn't going to rush for 2000 yards this year for Vikings.
        So you think my piction of 12-4 is far off but yours at 11-5 isn't. Make sense young man.
      1. ralphmtsu's Avatar
        ralphmtsu -
        I agree with SC's assessment. As always, we need to key in on our division games. Anything less than 4-2 in the division will be a disappointment and wasted opportunity. I doubt 6-0 in division, but 5-1 is do-able. The other theme is winning at home. Good teams-- deep playoff teams win tough games at home. We have the Patriots and Packers at home. We have to win at least one of those two games. They really need to be 6-2 or better at home this year. I'm sick of 4-4 runs at home. That is unacceptable and it is all on Marvin. It is inexplicable that they play better on the road than at home.
      1. Lewdog's Avatar
        Lewdog -
        Quote Originally Posted by BlazerBenner View Post
        16-0, huh?

        OK.
        16-0 is impossible. 16-1 isn't.
      1. BlazerBenner's Avatar
        BlazerBenner -
        There are two phantoms I fear: Maualuga and Center.

        Until proven otherwise, as an opposing Head Coach, I'm gameplanning what's proven to be successful against this current roster.

        Defensively, I'm throwing the ball directly into Maualuga's coverage area every time he's on the field. The success will come so fast, it will allow me to get an early lead vs the Bengals, while extending that lead until Maualuga is completely removed from the Defense (Maualuga is only good for ST's and short-yardage situations). Early leads by Bengals' opponents plays into gameplan "B", bullrushing whoever plays Center for the Bengals, as the Bengals will be forced to pass more. If it's Cook, there will be no passing game. If it's Robinson, it will all depend on his level of improvement following his second season and second full camp, but first camp working with the Starters. We better hope to hell that Robinson at least gets 50% of the snaps with the Starters in order to speed up his development, and that it's not "Cook's job to lose", a decision that proved disasterous the last six weeks of the season last year.

        Dalton also has to prove that he is going to stop panicking under pressure and folding like a tent the second he feels pressure coming from in front of him. He can't be taking 17 coverage sacks along with tucking the ball away immediately after pressure comes. He has to take his hits and throw the ball away. Let the blame if he gets injured fall on Mike Brown for being so stupid in not having a quality backup QB during this window of opportunity for the Bengals. One sack kills a drive. There are only 10 or 11 of them in a game. Can't afford to waste them.

        A team is only as good as it's weakest link. Maualuga is a broken link. He's way too easy to exploit. Can't win. 11 games on this schedule with him, their Center issue, and Dalton's tent-folding. Dalton and Center might get fixed, but those are big maybe's, as it is hard to get rid of Cook. Fate played us a great turn last year, injuring Cook. Can't get that lucky this year. Marvin actually has to make that call. I don't think he has the balls or the intel to do it. Robinson and Dalton can be fixed. The first thing they did with Dalton was work on this during OTA's, showing they understand the problem on his end. Gio and Eifert's ability to help Dalton with this will be directly related to their learning curves with blocking and route-running, a bigger issue for Eifert than for Gio mainly due to blocking responsibilities. So, these areas won't help Dalton a lot in the first four weeks of the season, and really won't be dependable until mid-season.

        If they see the problems on Dalton's end, I have to assume they see the problems on the Center's end. Even if Robinson only gets 30% of the Starters snaps, compared to last year, where he had virtually none, the potential for growth is great.

        All of this assumes that Robinson, Gio, and Eifert do not miss time to injuries. So, Gresham, Sanu, Jones, and BJGE will have to provide Dalton the confidence to look elsewhere other than Green the first half of the season.

        Any way you look at it, the first half of the season will be a struggle. We do not beat Miami in Miami.

        If we can get lucky, and Maualuga can get injured for the entire season, early in the season, we can avoid being behind at the end of first quarters, and go to our strength of running the ball.
      1. Super Cat's Avatar
        Super Cat -
        Well time to bring this back up. Would you look at what I said about Jets game. Blazers talked up Jets during off season before I made this post in May.
      1. TD Bengals's Avatar
        TD Bengals -
        In their last 16 games, the Bengals are 13-3. 12-4 if you count the playoff loss.
      1. ralphmtsu's Avatar
        ralphmtsu -
        I'll toot my own observation as well. Win at home. So far 4-0. Need to win at least one of two with Packers and Pats-- We won both. 5-1 in division is still doable and 4-2 is a definite possibility. This team is on track. My range was 10-6 to 12-4. That range is trending upwards. Take care of business in Miami-- 7-2. Get a "mini-bye" before playing Baltimore. 9-2 before the real bye is very much a possibility. Damn if we hadn't let down against Cleveland or allowed the Bears to get back into that game.
      1. BlazerBenner's Avatar
        BlazerBenner -
        Quote Originally Posted by Super Cat View Post
        Well time to bring this back up. Would you look at what I said about Jets game. Blazers talked up Jets during off season before I made this post in May.
        As I said last week (I think in the bengals' jungle Week 7 recaps) you're looking like a Swami.

        Don't know how I would have had something positive to say about the Jets when they had nobody to play Quarterback and that Geno Smith has far exceeded anything I expected from him, plus I had nothing good to say about them after they lost Revis. If I said anything about them, I would have said that they weren't going to make the playoffs or even be playoff contenders. I'm sure I can find a quote where I said that.
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