5 Cincinnati Bengals Facing Make-or-Break Seasons in 2014

By Brian Kalchik

5 Cincinnati Bengals Facing Make-or-Break Seasons in 2014

Jermaine Gresham Bengals
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The Cincinnati Bengals were able to dethrone Baltimore at the top of the AFC North, but for the third straight year, the Bengals failed to win a playoff game. Coach Marvin Lewis lost both of his coordinators to head coaching positions and another one and done would make Bengals fans lose their patience. With 2014 being a important season for the Bengals, here are five players facing make-or-break seasons.

5. RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis

Benjarvus Green-Ellis Bengals
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5. RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis

Benjarvus Green-Ellis Bengals
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Last year, the Bengals drafted RB Giovani Bernard in the second round, giving notice to starter Benjarvus Green-Ellis that he wasn't getting the job done. Green-Ellis is likely to lose his starting job to Bernard this season, and without a productive season, the former New England running back could be out the door as he will be a free agent this upcoming season.

4. CB Dre Kirkpatrick

Dre Kirkpatrick Bengals
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4. CB Dre Kirkpatrick

Dre Kirkpatrick Bengals
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As a former first-round pick, there haven't been many times when I've actually seen Dre Kirkpatrick on the field for the Bengals the past two seasons. Kirkpatrick has only started three games in two seasons, and with Terence Newman and Leon Hall starting to decline, Kirkpatrick has to make it count this season if he doesn't want to be labeled as the next Bengals draft bust.

3. TE Jermaine Gresham

Jermaine Gresham Bengals
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3. TE Jermaine Gresham

Jermaine Gresham Bengals
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Much like Green-Ellis, the Bengals drafted TE Tyler Eifert as a first-round pick last year, giving notice to Gresham that he wasn't getting the job done. With Gresham also scheduled to become a free agent this next season, the tight end will have to outperform Eifert just to secure a roster spot in 2015.

2. CB Leon Hall

Leon Hall Bengals
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2. CB Leon Hall

Leon Hall Bengals
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In the past three seasons, CB Leon Hall has had two season-ending Achilles injuries in the past three seasons. When healthy Hall is a good corner, but in the third year of his four-year, million deal, Hall simply can't be spending time on injured reserve with that high of a cap number.

1. QB Andy Dalton

Andy Dalton Bengals
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1. QB Andy Dalton

Andy Dalton Bengals
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This is a no-brainer pick here. QB Andy Dalton has been consistently inconsistent when it comes to the big games. Dalton has had three consecutive poor games when the Bengals made the postseason, with all three being losses. If Dalton wants to be the franchise quarterback for the Bengals long term, he has to get over the hump this year or else he will be gone in free agency this next offseason.

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