Cincinnati Bengals 2009 NFL Projection:
The Bengals get their starting QB back in 2009 as Carson Palmer returns from an injured elbow
which sidelined him for the majority of last season.
That's great news as Cincinnati surrendered 160 more points than they scored a season
Unfortunately, Palmer losses the ferocious T.J. Houshmanzadeh (to be replaced by Laveranues Coles).
And due to a name change, he'll never throw another TD to Chad Johnson...
Chris Henry showed up in preseason weeks one and two, but whether or not
he keeps showing up all season remains to be seen.
Cincinnati's offensive line isn't the most experienced group in the league.
First-round draft pick Andre Smith looks to start at left tackle, as the Bengals
released Levi Jones. And likely starters Cook (at center) and Collins who replaces
Stacy Andrews at right tackle
have limited NFL experience.
In a division with 3 solid defensive lines, Cincinnati's
line will have to come together quickly in order to keep Palmer from sustaining
yet another injury. Furthermore, it
will be interesting to see if Cedric Benson can continue to play at the level demonstrated
last season given the competition.
On the other side of the ball, the Bengals defensive line doesn't compare to their division
rivals, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, or even Cleveland. Although, the Bengals are decent looking
at linebacker led by Dhani Jones. Keith Rivers returns from injury and Rey Maualuga was
drafted in the second round... Can you say, "time to switch to the 3-4"?
Cincy's secondary led by Johnathan Joseph held their own considering their brutal schedule
a season ago. And now add strong safety Roy Williams.
Cincinnati's 2009 schedule is no picnic
thanks in part to suiting up against the
twice of course, including back to back contests weeks 9 & 10 as well as back to back trips to
weeks 14 & 15.
We have our doubts about how a young offensive line will fair in the above 6 games versus such solid defenses.
If the Bengals go winless in those 6 affairs, that unfortunately won't leave much room for a shot at the postseason.
Though the Bengals get Palmer back, they don't appear strong enough on paper to contend
against their division rivals... Perhaps the Bengals can improve upon last season's win total.
And keep an eye on Chris Henry as a wildcard.
At this time we now forecast a record of (7-9) good for 3rd place in the AFc North...
A slight upgrade from our opening preseason forecast.
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Free 2009 NFL Predictions Note:
Remember these now archived 2009 NFL forecasts were made
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