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Dugan’s Bengals & NFL Season Predictions

By: Tyler Dugan

Smell that? That smell is a cold beer, some fresh made skyline dip, a couple helmet to helmet penalties, and one big catch controversy!!! Its FOOTBALL SEASON!!!

Lets start with talking about our guys in the orange and black.

Obviously last year was a major disappointment, John Ross was a dud, the offensive line was abysmal, the play calling was ass, we resigned Marvin and so on. I’m not here to talk about last year. I’m here to discuss this year, this team, and why its OK to have hope.

Lets start with what changed. I think the biggest may be the coaching. I know I know I know I know, Marvin’s dumpy ass is still on the sidelines, but other than that, everything else is different. The biggest is Wild Bill Lazor calling the shots on offense. Lazor took over after 2 games last year,  but wasn’t able to completely implement on the fly last year.

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This year he has completely mixed it up, and it looks much much sharper. He’s taken all the stupid ass formations and motions out of it. He has made it cut and dry, and easier to read for our boy Andy. He has made it a point in the preseason to get Mixon and Ross involved, that is pleasantly nice to see.

The next big move is Teryl Austin is taking over at Defensive Coordinator. He is more aggressive and preaches about forcing turnovers. Last year the Lions, where Austin was DC, forced 35 turnovers. For reference, last year the Bengals forced 15. Austin is a major upgrade from Guenther.

On top of that we have a new QB coach, Alex Van Pelt, he was the QB coach up in Green Bay, he coached a pretty good guy up there, maybe that could rub off on our Red headed leader. We added Dallas’s old O line coach- Frank Pollack. He is an upgrade. So overall the sidelines just look much different.

On the field we added Preston Brown, who lead the NFL in tackles last year to man the middle of the defense. We traded for Cordy Glenn to play left tackle. Then in the draft added a starting center and safety. Those are 4 guys who are going to come in and immediately.
Team Strengths:

The first and foremost is the the front 7 on the defense. Starting with the defensive line. They are so talented, so deep, and so young. Lawson, Atkins, Dunlap, Johnson, Hubbard, Glasgow, Billings, Willis, the list goes on and on and on. It is loaded. The thought of Dunlap Atkins Billings and Lawson is absolutely nasty. I truly believe this defensive line could be among the best in the league. Add that with Vigil, Brown, and Burfict (post suspension) the Bengals front seven is really good.

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Next, the offensive skill. Mixon, Bernard, Walton is a dynamic ass running group. Green, Boyd, Ross, Eifert, Kroft, Tate, Malone, is a young talented group. They are going to be able to do a lot of fun things. Ross and Mixon are so dynamic in open space, they are big play machines. I think Tyler Boyd can be very solid underneath, similar to our man Tj Houshyamamma. Throw in Kroft and Eifert in the redzone… look out. Lazor is going to run schemes to get these guys the ball in situations that will make them succeed. The question is, will there be time to get them the ball….

Team Weaknesses:

See that segway? Veteran. The biggest weakness of this team is the offensive line, more specifically the right side of it. The left should be fine with Glenn and Boiling. Price will start at center. Although the right side of the line hasn’t been decided yet, whoever they put is going to be shaky. Its going to be some sort of competition between Hart, Westerman, Ogbuehi, Hopkins, and Fisher. That is troublesome. Christian Westerman has actaully rated really high on the PFF ratings, but Frank Pollack apparently doesn’t believe in those and isn’t as high on him as everyone else. Against Buffalo Mixon had 6 carries for 7 yards. Gio had 4 carries for 3 yards. That just simply cannot happen. If this team has any hope of making a run, they are going to have to be somewhat effective running the ball. As for the pass blocking, it hasn’t been brutal. Price has been very solid in the pass and struggles in the run. They have held their own, the right tackle spot is just very weak, and I’m not sure their is a better answer. I think the best front is LT-Glenn, LG-Boiling, C-Price, RG-Westerman, RT- Fisher. Not great, but should be good enough to stay afloat.

The secondary is THIN. Not necessarily bad, but extremely thin. William Jackson is a bonafide star, he will be the #1 corner. Across from him will be our 50 million dollar man, I’m not going to spit on him, he just needs to be so much better than last year, and he hasn’t looked great in the preseason which is alarming. Dennard will be the 3rd corner and guard the slot. He looked really good in that role last year. The safeties will be Bates and Williams. Yes, the Bengals cut Iloka, it was questionable,  but I don’t hate it as much as others. George was great here, but with Austin’s defense the free safety needs to be a ball hawk roamer, that just wasn’t his game, Jesse Bates has look very good in the preseason and has a knack for forcing turnovers.

bates.PNG

Bates

I think its good to keep him on the field. I would’ve like to keep George as a backup role that could’ve played some coverage linebacker, but its clear they didn’t think he could do it, and probably wouldn’t want to take a back up role. I’m happy he landed in a spot where he will thrive. Williams will man down the strong safery.  After that we are thin, basically full of a bunch of late round rookies. If you want to pray for something, pray for the Bengals secondary to stay healthy.

If this team wants to make the playoffs, the defense is going to have to be great. Lead by the d line is going to have to feared, and force a ton of turnovers. The offense will have to make big plays. John Ross is actually going to have get on the field and make positive plays, and the offensive line is actually going to keep Andy standing. He can’t spend the whole season on his back. He just can’t. I truly believe that with these weapons and Lazors offense, Andy can be like 2015 Andy, and that is a damn good Andy. If we get some sort of that Andy this team is going to playoffs.

The schedule is tough. We get the AFC west (SD, KC, Oak, Den) and the NFC South (Atl, Car, NO, TB) throw in our division, the Dolphins, and the Colts we have a schedule. That’s real tough. There isn’t any gimmes. If they make the playoffs this year they will have earned it. On the bright side the AFC is dog shit, so there is room for a team to go there and grab playoff spot.

Overall, I see this team finishing somewhere around 8 wins. I think 6-10 is the absolute lowest, and 10-6 is the absolute highest. 9-7 generally gets you in the playoffs in the AFC, I think that is reasonable. There is always those teams in the NFL that just shoot up from nowhere. Last year it was the Eagles and Saints. Who is to say the Bengals can’t be that type of team this year. The talent is there. They went 7-9 last year without scoring a TD the first 2 weeks, quitting on their coach at the end of the season, and having four 1 score losses. They weren’t that far off. This team can make a run.

As for the rest of the league?

AFC EAST
1. Patriots 12-4

2. Jets 7-9

3. Dolphins 5-11

4. Bills 3-13

This is a bad division. New England easily wins. The jets are young but with some talent. The Bills may be the worst team in football.
AFC North
1. Steelers 10-6

2. Bengals 9-7

3. Browns 6-10

4. Ravens 5-11

I actually see the Bengals and Steelers coming down to the wire playing for the division the last game of the year. In Pittsburgh the Steelers win the division. With or without the disastrous Leveon situation. The BROWNS DONT FINISH LAST. I am buying the browns hype. Feed me 6 wins. Ravens stink.

AFC South
1. Texans 10-6

2. Colts 8-8

3. Jags 7-9

4. Titans 6-10

The jags are going to step back. They had the benefit of playing in an awful division. Luck and Watson are back, which means Bortles is the worst Qb in the division. The colts start slow and pick it up late, but overall Houston is solid overall. If Deshaun Watson stays healthy this team is loaded.

AFC WEST

1. Chargers 12-4

2. Denver 9-7

3. Chiefs 7-9

4. Oakland 4-12

I love the Chargers roster. I think they are extremely talented, probably top 5 in the league. I am so excited for Phil the thrill to be back in the spotlight. He’s the most electric man in football. Denver’s pass rush is so damn good. So so so good. I think that puts them in the playoff hunt, Keenum is an upgrade over Sieman. They drafted Royce Freeman who is a horse. The Chiefs take some lumps with Mahomes. And Oakland hugely disappoints, JON GRUDEN IS OVERRATED. Let it be known I am huge Raider hater. Derek Carr is overrated, Jon Gruden is overrated, Amari Cooper can’t catch. Oh, and they just traded the best defensive player in the league.

NFC EAST
1. Giants 10-6

2. Eagles 8-8

3. Cowboys 7-9

4. Redskins 6-10

That’s righhhhhhhhhtttttt I’m back on the giants folks. I would get hit by a semi for Eli. I love that man. Now they patched up their offensive line. They added a future hall of famer at RB. They get OBJ back. Their defense gets healthy. Shurmur is guru. The giants are loaded. The Eagles are good, but they play in a hard ass division, and now play a 1st place schedule. Wentz isn’t healthy. Are they talented? Sure. But Foles played well in 2 games last year. Sorry, I don’t trust him.
NFC North
1. Vikings 12-4

2. Packers 11-5

3. Lions 6-10

4. Bears  6-10

I think the Vikings are one of the most talented teams in football. They got an upgrade at QB, and after being obliterated in the NFC title game, they are motivated.  Packers get Aaron back, that’s enough for 11 wins. The Lions are talented, just take the lumps of a tough schedule. The bears added Khalil, they have talent, they upset some teams, Mitch just doesn’t have the talent to take over.
NFC SOUTH

1. Saints 11-5
2. Falcons 11-5
3. Panthers 8-8
4. Bucs 2-14

The Saints and Falcons are LOADED. This division comes down to the wire with those 2, the Saints edge them. I love their quarterbacks. I love their offensive weapons. They are that good. I was split on both, I threw the Saints the division in a toss up. The panthers have a good defense, with a play maker at QB, just not enough weapons outside of Mccaffery. The Bucs are actually god awful, Jamie’s STINKS.
NFC WEST
1. Rams 13-3
2. Cardinals 8-8
3. 49ers 7-9
4. Seattle 5-11
The Rams do have the best roster in football. They add Talib and Peters at corner. They add Cooks at receiver. They have the best running back in the league as well as the best d lineman. They are the class of football. The Cardinals are my surprise decent team. They went 8-8 last year without David Johnson, and no quarterback. They lost their coach and Palmer. But they have Bradford and other playmakers, they will not be that bad. The 49ers are close but not there yet. Seattle stinks and I love it.
For the playoffs I have:
AFC:
1.  Patriots
2. Chargers
3. Texans
4. Steelers
5. Bengals
6. Denver
If the bengals want to exercise their playoff demons, they have to do it in the house of doom. They get their chance this year. Overall I have Patriots and Chargers meeting in the AFC with the Pats winning. Until Tom does otherwise, I’m going to bet on him.
NFC:
1. Rams
2. Vikings
3. Saints
4. Giants
5. Falcons
6. Packers
The NFC is just stupid talented. It’s hard to even seed. Overall I like the the Giants and the Rams to meet in the NFC title. Eli in the warm weather under the lights???? You kiddin me? Put my man in the super bowl ( I know I said this last year, idgaf). I really do think the Giants are super talented and I love their coach, and Eli is nasty in January. I’m in.
Giants/Patriots going for the Trifectaaaaaaaa. How arisen would this be? Imagine Eli beating Tom 3 times in the Super Bowl? Imagine Brady finally beating Eli to solidify everything he’s done. This would be beautiful. ELIIIIIIIIIIIII beats Tom AGAIN.
MVP- Drew Brees
DPOY- Khalil Mack
OROY- Sam Darnold
DROY- Derwain James
COY- Shurmur
LETS GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

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