Cincinnati Bengals 2017 NFL Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart

Cincinnati Bengals 2017 NFL Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart Photo by USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals 2017 Preview

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The Cincinnati Bengals are coming off a rough 6-9-1 season in which they missed the playoffs, which means this franchise still hasn't won a postseason game since 1990. The Bengals consistently have one of the more talented teams in the NFL, and most folks in Cincinnati are running out of patience with their lack of postseason success, so it's safe to say there's a lot of pressure on Marvin Lewis and others to get the job done.

Is this the season the Bengals can finally be taken seriously?

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Here’s the Cincinnati Bengals 2017 NFL preview.

Key Player Losses: Backup running back Rex Burkhead leaves for New England after averaging 4.3 yards per carry and scoring three touchdowns in three seasons with Cincy. Defensive tackle Domata Peko is now in Denver after 11 seasons with the Bengals, and linebacker Rey Maualuga is still a free agent after eight seasons and over 300 tackles in Cincinnati. Longtime kicker Mike Nugent is also a free agent, and he's played in 153 career games and has made 80.8 percent of his field goal attempts.

Key Player Additions: Offensive lineman Andre Smith returns to the Bengals after spending one season with the Minnesota Vikings. Smith spent his first seven seasons with the Bengals and now has 77 starts under his belt at 30 years old. Kevin Minter is a young linebacker who started every game for the Arizona Cardinals the last two seasons and has 175 tackles and five sacks for his career. Other than those additions, the Bengals focused on their own players, which included extending the contracts of Eric Winston, Brandon LaFell and Dre Kirkpatrick.

Draft: Wide receiver John Ross is one of the more explosive players in the draft, as he has game changing speed and is sure to be a nice complement to AJ Green. Running back Joe Mixon was arguably the best running back in the draft but slipped to the second round due to off-the-field issues. Jordan Willis is a massive, athletic defensive end who is sure to see time this season as a situational pass rusher. Carl Lawson is a talented defensive end who would have gone earlier than the fourth round if it weren't for injuries. Josh Malone is a speedy wide receiver with great size at 6’3” and Ryan Glasgow is an energetic defensive tackle who can contribute in run support. You have to love the Bengals draft considering they landed two game changers on the offensive end and a couple of defensive ends who will contribute right away. Homerun draft for the Bengals.

Outlook: The Cincinnati Bengals had a top-10 defense last season in points allowed and return the bulk of those players. The Bengals offense was already explosive with Andy Dalton, Jeremy Hill and AJ Green, and it’s sure to be even more effective with talented kids such as Ross and Mixon being thrown into the mix. The talent is here for the Bengals to make series noise and maybe even contend for a title. Problem is we’ve heard that before, and the Bengals are one-and-done in the playoffs time and time again. At some point it becomes like the boy who cried wolf. Show me before I beleive you. So, for the same reason I’m not touching the Cowboys future, I’m passing on the Bengals. However, this is one of the more talented teams you're going to find with odds this big.

Schedule:

Sep. 10    Baltimore Ravens    1:00 PM

Sep. 14    Houston Texans (Thu)    8:25 PM

Sep. 24    at Green Bay Packers    4:25 PM

Oct. 1    at Cleveland Browns    1:00 PM

Oct. 8    Buffalo Bills    1:00 PM

Oct. 15    BYE

Oct. 22    at Pittsburgh Steelers    1:00 PM

Oct. 29    Indianapolis Colts    1:00 PM

Nov. 5    at Jacksonville Jaguars    1:00 PM

Nov. 12    at Tennessee Titans    1:00 PM

Nov. 19    at Denver Broncos    4:25 PM

Nov. 26    Cleveland Browns    1:00 PM

Dec. 4    Pittsburgh Steelers (Mon)    8:30 PM

Dec. 10    Chicago Bears    1:00 PM

Dec. 17    at Minnesota Vikings    1:00 PM

Dec. 24    Detroit Lions    1:00 PM

Dec. 31    at Baltimore Ravens    1:00 PM

 

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