When you think of the lower-tier teams in the NFL, the Cincinnati Bengals usually come to mind. However, over the last couple of seasons, the Bengals have been a far cry from bottom dwellers. The team has risen up and made the playoffs each of the last two years, and much of the credit has to go to quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green.
Sometimes that’s all it takes to propel a franchise back into playoff contention – a solid quarterback and elite receiver combination. There’s no doubt that Green is already one of the best receivers in football, but Dalton still climbing his way up the quarterback ladder.
Still, the young QB showed improvement in his second year, increasing all of the major statistics across the board in 2012. He threw for more yards, touchdowns, and completed a higher percentage of passes. No doubt the type of progress Bengals’ fans want to see.
Going forward, the Bengals must add more weapons for Dalton to keep progressing. It’s pretty clear what the team is going to get from Green, but for Cincinnati to be a serious contender, they have to be more explosive on offense.
Other key pieces are in place with tight end Jermaine Gresham and 1000-yard rusher Benjarvus Green-Ellis, so the Bengals aren’t that far away from making some noise in the postseason. It’s been a long time coming, but a solid foundation has been established in Cincinnati, and it will be interesting to see what other weapons the team adds this off-season.