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NFL Update: The Cincinnati Bengals 2014 Schedule and Status Report Post-2014 NFL Draft

Is This the Year of the Cincinnati Bengals?

2014 NFL Off-Season

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2013 Recap: The Cincinnati Bengals made the playoffs for a third straight season, but lost in the first round for the fifth straight time. The Bengals won the AFC North with an 11-5 record and had a top five defense against the run and pass. However, 40 combined fumbles and interceptions really prevented this team from taking the next step. Cincinnati fans are really running out of patience, as this is one of the more talented teams in the league but can never seem to get over that hump.  

Key Losses: After just one season, the Bengals released linebacker James Harrison, who had two sacks and 16 tackles in 15 games. Not one of his better seasons, Harrison does have 66 sacks and 29 forced fumbles in his 11-year career. The Bengals also lost defensive end Michael Johnson to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Johnson spent his first five seasons with the Bengals, racking up 26.5 sacks and 134 tackles.

NFL Update: The Cincinnati Bengals 2014 Schedule and Status Report Post-2014 NFL Draft

USA TODAY Sports

Key Additions: Other than extending head coach Marvin Lewis’ contract for another season and picking up Jason Campbell for quarterback depth, the Bengals really didn’t make any big splashes this offseason. For the most part, the Bengals will head into the 2014 season with the exact same roster they had a year ago.

Draft: You have to love the Bengals first two picks with cornerback Darqueze Dennard and running back Jeremy Hill. Both are physical players who can step on the field and contribute right away. The steal for the Bengals 2014 draft was quarterback AJ McCarron. McCarron isn’t the flashiest quarterback and won’t see the field any time soon, but he’s extremely smart and could be a decent option for the Bengals in the future. He was certainly worth a shot in the fifth round.  

2014 Outlook, So Far: Is this the season the Bengals finally turn the corner? Every season you see the Bengals as Super Bowl contenders, but they always underachieve and fall short in the playoffs. Making the playoffs simply isn’t good enough anymore. These aren’t the same Bengals everybody used to laugh at. Instead, this is actually one of the more talented teams in the league. I see the Bengals as a team that can come out of the AFC if everything goes well. On the other hand, I can also see the Bengals being the same old Bengals and getting bounced in the first round for the sixth straight time.

2014 Schedule: 

Sept. 7 at Baltimore Ravens, 1

Sept. 14 Atlanta Falcons, 1

Sept. 21 Tennessee Titans,

Sept. 28 BYE

Oct. 5 at New England Patriots, 8:30*

Oct. 12 Carolina Panthers, 1

Oct. 19 at Indianapolis Colts, 1

Oct. 26 Baltimore Ravens, 1

Nov. 2 Jacksonville Jaguars, 1

Nov. 6 Cleveland Browns (Thu), 8:25

Nov. 16 at New Orleans Saints, 1

Nov. 23 at Houston Texans, 1

Nov. 30 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1

Dec. 7 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1

Dec. 14 at Cleveland Browns, 1

Dec. 22 Denver Broncos (Mon), 8:30

Dec. 28 at Pittsburgh Steelers, 1

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