2017 Bengals Season Preview & NFL Futures Lines
Looking for 2017 Cincinnati Bengals predictions? We’ve got your back. 2015’s 12-4 record seems like a distant memory for the Cincinnati Bengals, who seem to be at a crossroads with a core that hasn’t been able to get over the hump. Marvin Lewis remains the boss on the sidelines, but a lot of familiar faces left town in the offseason, with some young guns set to fill in for a team that is hoping to bounce back into playoff contention.
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Bengals Season Win Totals Lines – 8.5
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2017 Cincinnati Bengals Predictions: Roster Changes
Some real mainstays of the roster are gone, with linebacker Rey Maualuga, offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, defensive tackle Domata Peko, and running back Rex Burkhead all finding employment elsewhere, leaving a serious dent in the veteran contingent in the locker room.
And the team’s poor drafting in recent years is only going to make those losses hurt that much more.
The team made a curious pick at the top of their draft, adding wide receiver John Ross out of Washington in the first round, filling a need that seemingly wasn’t there while other holes remain empty.
Second round pick running back Joe Mixon was another head scratcher. While off the field issues made him a great value in the second round, Cincinnati’s running back position has been locked down by Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill in recent years.
Offensive guard Kevin Zeitler had established himself as one of the best in the league at his position, but was allowed to walk and join the rival Cleveland Browns.
That leaves 2015 draft picks Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher stepping into bigger rolls this season, and that doesn’t bode well for Andy Dalton’s health.
2017 Cincinnati Bengals Predictions: Offense
The weapons are there at the skill positions for the Bengals. Andy Dalton will have plenty of options to throw the ball to when he drops back, including elite wide receiver A.J. Green, who’s one of the most talented players at his position.
The offensive line has the potential to really hold this unit back given the players they lost in the offseason. The running back situation is strong if not a little crowded.
Expect this group to overcome their deficiencies along the line and move the ball well for much of the year.
2017 Cincinnati Bengals Predictions: Defense
While some veterans left town, there remain a lot of talented players on the Cincinnati defense. Guys like Geno Atkins, Vontaze Burfict, Carlos Dunlap, and Vincent Rey have been anchoring the front seven, and should continue to for years to come.
2017 Cincinnati Bengals Handicapping: (Strengths/Weaknesses)
The offensive skill positions for Cincinnati should be as good as any team in the league, with A.J. Green putting in work as one of the truly elite pass-catchers in football.
It’s almost a shame the Bengals haven’t been able to do more, because Green’s true value is almost getting lost.
The defensive secondary could be a problem with former first round picks Dre Kirkpatrick and Darqueze Dennard failing to live up to the billing, as has been a common problem for the Bengals regardless of the position as years of bad drafting have really caught up with the team.
2017 Cincinnati Bengals Prediction (Final Record): 9-7
This really is a crossroad season for the Bengals. If the team isn’t able to bounce back from last year’s disaster, there’s a very real chance Marvin Lewis’ job status comes into question, and Mike Brown just decides to blow up the roster with an eye on the future.
There’s a lot of talent on the roster, but there are also a lot of holes, most notably along the offensive line and in the defensive secondary.
A full season of a healthy Andy Dalton and A.J. Green is always going to leave the Bengals in the hunt for the postseason, and Dalton has plenty of weapons to work with aside from Green and Tyler Eifert, but the team’s deficiencies are going to be too much to overcome to get this group back into the postseason.
More 2017 AFC North Season Previews & NFL Predictions
- 2017 Pittsburgh Steelers Predictions
- 2017 Cleveland Browns Season Predictions
- 2017 Baltimore Ravens Predictions
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