NFL Top 100 Players 2013: Cincinnati Bengals DE Michael Johnson at No. 89

By Dan Parzych
(Andrew Weber/USA Today Sports)

When it comes to the biggest surprises over the last two seasons, the Cincinnati Bengals rank near the top of the list as they’ve made two surprise appearances in the playoffs–even if they did lose both times to the Houston Texans. One of the main reasons why the Bengals have seen so much success has been because of the defense as they’ve emerged as one of the best in the league and whether or not that happens again may rely on the play of star defensive end Michael Johnson.

If the first four seasons of his career is any indication of what to expect in 2013, it would be Johnson is going to be in for another big season as his numbers have improved each season he’s been in the league. Last season, Johnson managed to record 11.5 sacks and even though he was slapped with the franchise tag–the Bengals hope they can eventually work something out with the defensive star for the long run.

With all of the changes that have taken place for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens this offseason, Cincinnati finds themselves in the perfect position to overtake the AFC North this season and the argument can be made that they should be considered favorites heading into the regular season. The Bengals have shown plenty of potential over the last two seasons and hopefully Johnson continues to play at a high level to help this team comesthrough with their first playoff win during the Marvin Lewis era.

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