2013 Record: 11-5-0
Key Additions: QB Jason Campbell; S Danieal Manning; OL Marshall Newhouse; DL Sam Montgomery.
Key Losses: DL Michael Johnson; LB James Harrison; OL Anthony Collins; WR Andrew Hawkins; S Chris Crocker; OL Kyle Cook; LB Michael Boley.
HEAD COACH: Marvin Lewis
Offense: The Bengals have quarterback Andy Dalton back in 2014 after posting solid regular season numbers with 4,293 passing yards with 33 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. The "Red Rifle" also scrambled for 183 rushing yards and scored two rushing touchdowns. Veteran journeyman Jason Campbell is in camp this year vying for the backup spot along with rookie A.J. McCarron (Alabama).
The running game features two backs who can do damage in BenJarvus Green-Ellis (756 rushing yards and even TD) and Giovani Bernard, who ran for 695 yards (4.1 ypc average) and scored five touchdowns as well making 56 catches for 514 yards and three touchdowns. Rookie Jeremy Hill (LSU) and Cedric Peerman are the backups.
A.J. Green (98 receptions for 1,426 yards and 11 touchdowns) is the primary target for Dalton after another Pro Bowl season. Marvin Jones had 51 receptions for 712 yards and ten touchdowns and lines up opposite Green to make a formidable duo in Cincy.
Mohamed Sanu (47, 455, two TD), Brandon Tate and Dane Sanzenbacher are also on hand at wide receiver. The tight ends are Jermaine Gresham (46, 458, four TD) and Tyler Eifert, who had 39 receptions for 445 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie.
The offensive line is solid with the likes of center Trevor Robinson, guards Clint Boling and Kevin Zeitler and tackles Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith.
STATS - The Bengals offense ranked tenth last season, averaging 368 yards per game while scoring just under 27 points per game (6th in NFL) as they rushed for 110 yards per game (18th) and passed for 258 yards, which ranked eighth in the NFL. The Bengals allowed only 29 sacks a year ago and turned the football over 30 times.
Defense: Geno Atkins (six QB sacks) and Domata Peko are the tackles while Carlos Dunlap (7.5 sacks) and Wallace Gilberry man the end positions in the 4-3 alignment that finished third in overall defense last season. Margus Hunt and rookie Will Clarke (West Virginia) will get playing time along with Robert Geathers and Christo Bilukidi in reserve.
The Bengals linebackers are Rey Maualuga (middle) and outside backers Vontaze Burfict and either Emmanuel Lamur or Jayson DiManche. Sean Porter, Sam Montgomery and Vincent Rey and rookie Marquis Flowers (Arizona) provide depth.
The cornerbacks are Leon Hall and either Terrence Newman (two interceptions) or rookie Darqueze Dennard (Michigan State) to form a solid secondary along with safeties Reggie Nelson and George Iloka. Adam Jones and Dre Kirkpatrick each had three picks last season and provide good depth along with Danieal Manning, Shawn Williams and Taylor Mays.
STATS - Finishing third overall on defense by allowing 306 yards per game (97 rushing and 209 passing) along with getting 43 quarterback sacks and 20 interceptions is reason for optimism once again in 2014 for the Bengals.
OUTLOOK: There is reason for high expectations once again in Cincinnati in 2014 after another playoff appearance following a solid season.
However, along with Bengals fans, Head Coach Marvin Lewis would like to see QB Andy Dalton get a playoff win after three consecutive setbacks, including the 27-10 beatdown at home against San Diego last winter.
The running game appears to be intact again and the wide receiver tandem of Green and Jones is among the best in the game. The Bengals also have two solid tight ends to boot.
On defense, barring injury, this team is among the best in the entire NFL heading into the 2014 season. So it stands to reason that Cincinnati can win the division again and a 11-5 record should do the trick, but they have to be ready against the likes of Baltimore and Pittsburgh in the AFC North.
How far they can go in the playoffs will rest on the shoulders of Dalton and Cincy fans are hopeful the "Red Rifle" doesn't turn into the "Red Ryder BB Gun" once again in the post-season.
Stay tuned because it should be interesting to see what happens in Cincinnati this year.
Week 1- at Baltimore
Week 2- vs. Atlanta
Week 3- vs. Tennessee
Week 4- BYE WEEK
Week 5- at New England
Week 6- vs. Carolina
Week 7- at Indianapolis
Week 8- vs. Baltimore
Week 9- vs. Jacksonville
Week 10- vs. Cleveland
Week 11- at New Orleans
Week 12- at Houston
Week 13- at Tampa Bay
Week 14- vs. Pittsburgh
Week 15- at Cleveland
Week 16- vs. Denver
Week 17- at Pittsburgh