Cincinnati Bengals 2008 NFL Projection:
Question: If the Bengals were going to use two of their top four draft picks at the wide receiver
position to protect against the possibility of Chad Johnson sitting out the season, why didn't they
just give in to his demands and trade him for some help on the defensive side of the ball?
First year receivers rarely make an impact in the NFL. So if Johnson actually sits out, how much help
will the Bengals actually garner from Simpson and Caldwell this season?
Bottom line - no matter how potent the passing game is, unless there is a running game to support,
then this team almost certainly will need a dramatically improved defense
to have a successful year.
Therefore, it's not easy to applaud much of the Bengals' off-season decision making.
As eluded to above, one of the keys to success this season will be whether or not Cincinnati can return to past form in the running game.
We feel the burden falls more upon the offensive line than the running backs.
But the most important factor determining Cincinnati's success will almost certainly
be whether their defense can
improve dramatically upon last year's performance.
In 2007 more than half of Cincinnati's games were against teams in the bottom third in scoring on offense, yet Cincinnati's
defense still finished near the bottom of the league.
While Cincy's linebacking crew got the injury bug last season, it's not like they were coming off a great season looking for a repeat of
defensive success. The bottom line - as far as the defense is concerned, many questions remain.
Moving back to the offense, the Bengals' pass protection was stellar last season, even after losing Steinbach. But most of the time,
the passing game can only
take your team so far. Consider how many times the Bengals have finished above .500 since becoming a prolific air show... Once.
A look at Cincinnati's 2008 schedule
shows eight games versus teams that made the playoffs last season including;
Not to mention two games versus the
who where on the cusp of making the playoffs last season. And a matchup with the
suddenly playoff caliber
With brutal schedule and big questions on defense, it's not easy to predict a season of success for the Bengals in 2008.
If the Bengals achieve a record of .500 that would be impressive against this level of competition. While it would be
exciting to see the Bengals finally break out defensively, overall we're
predicting a team collapse and a mark of (2-14) for the Bengals in 2008.
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Free 2008 NFL Predictions Note:
these now archived 2008 NFL forecasts were made
during the 2008 preseason.
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