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Cincinnati Bengals: Why the Team Should Be the NFL's Worst

Andrew Robeson@SportswriterguyAnalyst IIAugust 9, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 20:  Andy Dalton attends the NFL PLAYERS Premiere League Flag Football Game at UCLA on May 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

When ESPN's Preseason Power Rankings came out today, not many people were surprised to see the Cincinnati Bengals at the bottom of the list.

The Bengals just aren't going to be good any time soon. That's what happens when your quarterback quits on the team (Yes he quit. Can we stop saying he "retired?" Retired is too nice.) and your wide receivers book it out of town.

Andy Dalton and A.J. Green could have many great years together, but 2011 just isn't going to be one of them.

The fact that they're throwing Dalton into the fire is a little scary. NFL rookies generally struggle their first year, and an awful season could totally mess with Dalton's psyche—especially since he won't have the weapons other guys who have succeeded ("success" is a loose term here) as NFL rookie quarterbacks have had.

At the running back position, it was a surprise to see Cedric Benson return, especially after a dismal 2010 and an ugly arrest during the NFL lockout.

When you look at the Bengals and try to find positives, it is extremely difficult, and that's why this team could easily lose every game in 2011. This is another reason why they should save Dalton for when they actually have some players to put around him.

The only other teams I could see challenge the Bengals for worst in the league are the Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers, who all have almost equal issues at quarterback.

One interesting question for the Bengals and their fans is, what will they do if they get the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft?

If Dalton performs well in 2011, assuming he continues to be their starter, do they draft Andrew Luck or trade their pick? Obviously that's a huge hypothetical that's a long ways away from being decided, but at some point it will need to be discussed.

The good news for the Bengals is that they have a decent amount of young talent and will probably get even more young talent in the next two, three or maybe four drafts.

The bad news for the Bengals is that they're going to go from bad to worse, and fans will find out what it feels like to be a Detroit Lions supporter.

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