Cincinnati Bengals: 5 Bold Predictions for the Bengals in the 2012-2013 Season
The Cincinnati Bengals were perhaps the most surprising team in all of the National Football League last season. With two rookies at the helm, A.J. Green and Andy Dalton have gained a year of experience and will go into the coming season with a chip on their shoulder after an early exit in this past year's playoffs.
The Bengals have an even younger squad than they did a year ago. With the regular season only weeks away, here are five bold predictions for the Cincinnati Bengals in the coming season.
A.J. Green Will Catch 100-Plus Passes
After an astonishing rookie season, A.J. Green has officially been deemed a freak of nature. Green not only reeled in a surplus of acrobatic catches in his rookie season, but he also surpassed the 1,000-yard milestone.
With an additional 10 pounds of added muscle, and a year of experience under his belt, Green will put together a monstrous season.
Carlos Dunlap Will Record 12 Sacks
The fact that Carlos Dunlap is currently hurt is the only reason that this is a bold prediction. In his rookie season of 2010, Dunlap recorded 9.5 sacks in eight games but was slowed by injury in his sophomore season.
If Dunlap can remain healthy, he will give opposing defenses fits with his 6'6", 280-pound frame.
Andy Dalton Will Throw at Least 30 Touchdown Passes
Andy Dalton was nothing more than a pleasant surprise for the Cincinnati Bengals last season. The rookie quarterback led the Bengals to the playoffs this past season and looks ready to shine in 2012.
Dalton has a core of young, yet talented receivers to distribute the ball to in 2012, which should lead to another successful year.
Jermaine Gresham Will Have at Least 1,000 Yards Receiving
In college, Jermaine Gresham was considered to be one of the most impressive and most athletic tight ends. Coming out of Oklahoma, Gresham was one of the most hyped tight ends before he fell victim to injury.
After a promising season last year, Gresham looks to have finally gained some confidence and should put together a Pro Bowl-like season.
The Bengals Will Win the AFC North
The Bengals have one of the youngest teams in the NFL, but they arguably have the most potential. In the 2012 NFL draft, the Bengals were granted an extra first-round pick as compensation for the Carson Palmer trade. The Bengals picked up a few other gifted athletes, in addition to two competent players in the first round—cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick and offensive guard Kevin Zeitler.
Defensive tackle Devon Still and undrafted free-agent signee Vontaze Burfict were both projected to be first-round picks in the draft before character issues became a factor. Both players have had very impressive preseasons and could provide the Bengals with a substantial amount of production.