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Saturday, June 27, 2015, 11:02am
ESPN Bengals beat writer Coley Harvey was asked if the Bengals offense can be better than it was in 2013.
Harvey: First, I must say, the "if" is a big qualifier. Obviously, every team comes into each new season believing "if" it can stay healthy it has a chance to truly be great. In Cincinnati's case, I really do believe that some measure of greatness can be achieved assuming at least near-complete health this season.
Injuries derailed many of the Bengals' hopes in 2014, with receivers A.J. Green and Marvin Jones, tight ends Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham, offensive linemen Andre Smith and Kevin Zeitler, and running back Giovani Bernard missing significant chunks of the season. Had the Bengals been able to get a couple games back where those players weren't injured, they might have won an extra regular-season game, and perhaps they would have had a better shot in the playoff game at Indianapolis. Because of the qualifier "if," it's hard to guess about the unknown. But here's the thing: On paper, the Bengals are poised to be every bit as good as the 2013 team. That year's offense ranked 10th. Last year's was 15th. The Bengals certainly will be more improved this season.
It's also year two under offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, which should help. Jeremy Hill has emerged as a bell cow rusher and the team expects to have healthy weapons in the passing game. The story added the team better understands how to rotate Hill and Bernard at RB. Where the 2013 and 2015 offenses will differ is in the way that they play. Two years ago, Cincinnati had a pass-heavy system that put a lot of pressure on quarterback Andy Dalton's shoulders. This season, the Bengals will use Hill and Bernard to pace the offense.
Posted by Chris Kucharski
Wednesday, July 22, 2015 - 4:41pm
Andy Dalton begins his fifth season with Cincinnati having started every game since he was drafted out of TCU in 2011. Dalton has played like a top-tier quarterback at times, especially in the regular season. The Bengals still believe he is their man as they have not brought anyone to compete with him for the job. He had a career best 64.2 completion percentage and put up overall numbers that still put him in the upper half of quarterbacks in the league. But...
Dalton's numbers took a serious nosedive from his best season in 2013. Part of the issue might have been the way the Bengals ran their offense under Hue Jackson, but that excuse doesn't help your fantasy team. He threw the fewest passes of his career. His passing yardage total came down almost 900 yards. He threw 56 completions of 20+ yards in 2013, and that number dropped to 33 last season. And Dalton threw 14 less touchdowns. The one thing that was better last year was the 17 interceptions he threw (3 less than 2013), but take the less attempts into consideration.
So, which Andy Dalton will we get in 2015? His ADP is 174, so the consensus is we will see more of last year's version. That puts him a low-end QB2 on traditional rosters. However, he could be a good risk as your No. 2 if you don't get one of the top-tier quarterbacks. We know he will play every snap and will put up big games here and there during the season.
2015 Strength of Schedule - CIN
Schedule difficulty based on schedule-adjusted, positional defensive ranking. Top DEF = 1, bottom DEF = 32.
2014 Game Stats