Last year: 11-5, AFC North champs, still haven’t won a playoff game since 1990
Acquisitions: Darqueze Dennard, Danieal Manning, Jason Campbell, Marshall Newhouse, AJ McCarron
Departures: James Harrison, Chris Chocker, Andrew Hawkins, Michael Johnson
Vegas 2014 win total over/under: 9 wins
Five people who think A.J. McCarron should be the starting quarterback:
— The man with the ROLL TIDE face tattoo.
— The man who punched Zach Mettenberger in the face and yelled ROLL TIDE.
— The lady who named her daughter ROLE TYDE.
— Someone who thinks the man who owns the Bengals is the same person as the kid who got shot in Ferguson.
— Every other Alabama fan.
Fan forecast by Josh Keown:
Last year I had hopes. Like legit hopes. Our long suffering fan base maybe even bought into a little bit of the preseason Super Bowl hype. We’ll never make that mistake again.
We won’t talk about the home playoff meltdown to the San Diego Chargers because it took me $150 worth of bourbon to completely lose all memory of it. I suggest all other Bengals fans do the same.
But that was 2013. We’ve sobered up, and we’re ready for a new season. Here’s a few positives and negatives going into 2014:
Vontaze Burfict is on the verge of landing himself a healthy new four-year deal due to his surprisingly good play in 2013. Vontaze also earned my 2014 “If I enjoyed wearing football jerseys I would totally buy your jersey” award.
Geno Atkins will be back! We lost him last year on Halloween night to an ACL injury. He was bummed he didn’t get to show off his Bane costume, so he’s just going to save it for this year.
Tyler Eifert should be better this year which is great because it means far less time cursing at my TV because of a shit head play by Jermaine Gresham.
Corner Darqueze Dennard was a great pick up in the draft. He adds some much needed youth to the aging secondary who are all old enough to know the lyrics to the entire Bel Biv Devoe Poison album. (I’ll be so disappointed in you Terence Newman if you don’t.)
Oh yeah, we also drafted AJ McCarron. Which means KATHERINE WEBB EATING A CHILI CHEESE DOG WATCH has begun. It would be wise for CBS to dedicate one camera per home game solely to catching this moment. She will instantly be the hottest woman in Cincinnati. The chili cheese dog will be fourth.
Andy Dalton is back with a six-year extension, and we swear he’s ready for the spotlight, guys. WE SWEAR! If the playoffs were played in weeks 5-10, Andy Dalton would be an elite QB. But sadly they are played when they’re supposed to be played. However, we have to look at our alternatives. (Looks around and sees Kevin Kolb at the end of the bar throwing us some heavy flirtatious eyes.) OK, one more chance, Andy. (Looks at Jason Campbell at the other end of the bar, yelling about the lack of Staind on the jukebox.) Just… Just get in the car, Andy.
We lost Michael Johnson to Tampa Bay, and that’s unfortunate because he was great against the run and had an intimidating 16-foot wingspan. (I’ll check the facts on that later.)
The loss of our coordinators, Jay Gruden and (more importantly) Mike Zimmer. Watching Zimmer leave town hurt, especially for those of us who wanted him as head coach. Replacing Zimmer will be Paul Guenther, a nine-year Bengals assistant. So Guenther, whatever you learned from Zimmer, just do that.
Hue Jackson takes the job as offensive coordinator from Jay Gruden. In 2013, Jackson was the Bengals’ running backs coach and easily the most entertaining part of Hard Knocks. And if you can hold your own against shows that featured boobs and dragons and Matthew McConaughey in 2013, the AFC North should be cake.
Prediction: 10-6, making the playoffs and then well … you know the drill. DRINK!