The Cincinnati Bengals were a hot commodity this offseason as a candidate for the breakout team of the 2012 NFL season, but the Bengals have simply come out flat and have been a massive disappointment to this point.
The Bengals have sputtered to a 3-4 record, good for just third place in the ultra-competitive AFC North. Even worse, the Bengals are only 1-3 in the division after dropping games to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens and the mediocre Cleveland Browns.
Owner Mike Brown and head coach Marvin Lewis have once again failed to address some major needs on the roster and the Bengals are suffering as a result. Cincinnati is an above-average team when everything is clicking perfectly, but the Bengals are not close to being an elite team.
Let's examine five major points holding the Bengals back from being an elite team in 2012.