Breaking Down the 2015 Cincinnati Bengals

The buzz around the 2015 Cincinnati Bengals is the same as it has been for as long as I care to remember back. Is this the year they will get over the hump? Coach Marvin Lewis has a 0-5 playoff record and both him and QB Andy Dalton are on the hottest HC-QB combo seat in the league.

It doesnt help that the Bengals are in the AFC North, possible the most balanced and competitve division in the league with the likes of the Ravens and Steelers. The NFL odds makers have listed the Bengals at 33/1 odds to win Super Bowl 50.

Cincinnati Bengals 2015 Betting Preview

Coach Staff? Check! Defense? Check! Top Tier WR? Check! Unstopable RB Duo? Check! Elite QB? Ummmm, Not Yet!

  • 2014 Season Summary: 10-5-1, Finished 2nd in AFC North Division
  • Points Scored: 365 points (22.8/g), 15th of 32 in the NFL.
  • Points Allowed: 344 points (21.5/g), 12th.
  • Coach: Marvin Lewis
  • Offensive Coordinator: Hue Jackson
  • Defensive Coordinator: Paul Guenther
  • Stadium: Paul Brown Stadium

Cincinnati Bengals 2015 Betting Odds:

  • To Win Super Bowl 50: +4100
  • To Win the AFC: +1400
  • To Win the AFC North: +275

AFC North 2014 Standings:

AFC North W L T PCT PF PA HOME ROAD DIV PCT AFC PCT NFC STREAK
Pittsburgh 11 5 0 .688 436 368 6-2 5-3 4-2 .667 9-3 .750 2-2 Won 4
Cincinnati 10 5 1 .656 365 344 5-2-1 5-3 3-3 .500 7-5 .583 3-0-1 Lost 1
Baltimore 10 6 0 .625 409 302 6-2 4-4 3-3 .500 6-6 .500 4-0 Won 1
Cleveland 7 9 0 .438 299 337 4-4 3-5 2-4 .333 4-8 .333 3-1 Lost 5

2015 Cincinnati Bengals Offense:

The Bengals are handcuffed to QB Andy Dalton (3398 yards, 19 TDs & 17 INTS, 83.5 rating) for better or worse after giving him a 6 year, $96 millions last year...yet he is the achilles heel on this team. Dalton's biggest games have come due to the phenomenal play of WR AJ Green (69 rec, 1041 yards, 6 TDs), who expects to have a big year after dealing with injuries last season. WR Mohamed Sanu (56 rec, 790 yards, 5 TDs) is a strong complementary option tto Green and WR Marvin Jones who missed the entire 2014 season due foot and ankle injuries that held him out all of last season.

Cincinnati does have an embarrassment of riches in the backfield with the duo of Jeremy Hill (222 att, 1124 yards, 9 TDs) and Giovani Bernard (168 att, 680 yards, 5 TDs). If this offense can use this dynamic duo to take the pressure off of Dalton to have to force the play then this offense could prove to be troublesome in 2015. The Bengals ranked 15th in total offense in 2014; 21st passing the ball and 6th best rushing.

  • Key Additions: WR Denarius Moore, QB Josh Johnson.
  • Key Departures: None

Projected 2015 Cincinnati Bengals Starters:

  • QB Andy Dalton
  • WR A.J. Green
  • WR Marvin Jones
  • TE Tyler Eifert
  • RB Jeremy Hill
  • FB Ryan Hewitt
  • LT Andrew Whitworth
  • LG Clint Boling
  • C Russell Bodine
  • RG Kevin Zeitler
  • RT Andre Smith

2015 Cincinnati Bengals Defense:

The Cincinnati Bengals defense has been dependable, well mostly. They ranked in the top 10 of the NFL for 3 of the last 4 seasons in overall defense. Last year the Bengals took a took a hit, ranking 22nd in the league. While injuties can be blamed for most of that slipage, the Bengals addressed their issues via free agency and the a smart draft. Call in a winning trifecta with the return of key starters (more about them later) and the acquisition of veteran free agents and newly selected draftees, Cincinnati’s defense will look to make a resurgence once again into the top 10 of the NFL.

The team did lose starting cornerback Terrance Newman, while welcoming back DE Michael Johnson, and brought ILB AJ Hawk, DT Pat Sims and SS Brandon Ghee to help the defensive unit. Head coach Marvin Lewis and the front office also beefed up defensive depth by selecting four defensive players in the 2015 NFL draft.

  • Additions: SS Brandon Ghee, ILB AJ Hawk, DE Michael Johnson, DT Pat Sims Denarius Moore, QB Josh Johnson.
  • Departures: FS Taylor Mays, CB Terence Newman.

Projected 2015 Cincinnati Bengals Defensive Starters (Base 4-3 D):

  • DE Carlos Dunlap
  • DT Domata Peko
  • DT Geno Atkins
  • DE Michael Johnson
  • WLB Vontaze Burfict
  • MLB Rey Maualuga
  • SLB Emmanuel Lamur
  • CB Leon Hall
  • CB Adam Jones
  • SS George Iloka
  • FS Reggie Nelson

Cincinnati Bengals 2015 Draft Class:

  • Round 1, Pick 21: OT Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M
  • Round 2, Pick 53: OT Jake Fisher, Oregon
  • Round 3, Pick 85: TE Tyler Kroft, Rutgers (24 rec, 269 yards, 0 TDs)
  • Round 3, Pick 99: OLB Paul Dawson, TCU (136 tackles, 6.0 sacks)
  • Round 4, Pick 120: S Josh Shaw, USC (11 tackles, 0.0 sacks)
  • Round 4, Pick 135: DT Marcus Hardison, Arizona State (53 tackles, 10.0 sacks)
  • Round 5, Pick 157: TE C.J. Uzomah, Auburn (11 rec, 145 yards, 3 TDs)
  • Round 6, Pick 197: S Derron Smith, Fresno State (93 tackles, 1 INT)
  • Round 7, Pick 238: WR Mario Alford, West Virginia (65 rec, 945 yards, 11 TDs)

Cincinnati Bengals 2015 Schedule and Point Spreads:

  • Week 1 Sun, Sep 13 CIN (-3.5) @ Oakland 4:25 PM CBS
  • Week 2 Sun, Sep 20 CIN (-3) vs San Diego 1:00 PM CBS
  • Week 3 Sun, Sep 27 CIN (+3) @ Baltimore 1:00 PM CBS
  • Week 4 Sun, Oct 4 CIN (-3) vs Kansas City 1:00 PM CBS
  • Week 5 Sun, Oct 11 CIN (+2) vs Seattle 1:00 PM FOX
  • Week 6 Sun, Oct 18 CIN (+1) @ Buffalo 1:00 PM CBS
  • Week 7 BYE WEEK
  • Week 8 Sun, Nov 1 CIN (-3.5) @ Pittsburgh 1:00 PM CBS
  • Week 9 Thu, Nov 5 CIN (+3) vs Cleveland 8:25 PM NFL
  • Week 10 Mon, Nov 16 CIN (+2.5) vs Houston 8:30 PM ESPN
  • Week 11 Sun, Nov 22 CIN (-4) @ Arizona 4:05 PM CBS
  • Week 12 Sun, Nov 29 CIN (-2.5) vs St. Louis 1:00 PM FOX
  • Week 13 Sun, Dec 6 CIN (-2) @ Cleveland 1:00 PM CBS
  • Week 14 Sun, Dec 13 CIN (-1) vs Pittsburgh 1:00 PM CBS
  • Week 15 Sun, Dec 20 CIN (+3) @ San Francisco 8:30 PM NBC
  • Week 16 Mon, Dec 28 CIN (+4.5) @ Denver 8:30 PM
  • Week 17 Sun, Jan 3 vs Baltimore 1:00 PM CBS

2015 will be a bounce back season for the D, the final year of the Andy Dalton experiment and if he doesn't show progress it will be time to move on.

Connect With Cincinnati Bengals:

2015 Cincinnati Bengals Futures Betting Predictions: Bengals will go 11-5 and lose on Wild Card weekend.

Sources:

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/cin/2015.htm
http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/cin/
http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/_/name/cin/cincinnati-bengals
http://www.nfl.com/teams/profile?team=CIN