The Andy Dalton-to-A.J. Green connection is one of the NFL’s most lethal combinations. That alone could carry the Bengals deep into the playoffs.
Prediction: 10-6, second in AFC North
The Bengals have quietly built an excellent football team. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green had great rookie seasons and both should be even better in 2012. The defense is loaded with athletes and should produce a lot of sacks and turnovers.
Prediction: 11-5, first in AFC North
I like this mix. I like Andy Dalton and A.J. Green in Year 2. It was huge that Marvin Lewis retained both coordinators in Mike Zimmer and Jay Gruden. And look at the schedule. Cincy could easily start 4-2, at the very least.
Prediction: 9-7, second in AFC North
Andy Dalton and A.J. Green could be magic and the Bengals won't take a huge step backwards; they just won't have enough to make it to the playoffs again.
Prediction: 9-7, third in AFC North
If you look at the NFL’s best defenses last year, you see this commonality -- the secondary has a star in it. And in a Bengals secondary that has six former first-round picks at corner, Hall has been that star. He’s coming back off a torn Achilles, and that’s a tricky one and has put him on a "pitch count" during camp. But he remains a vital part of the defense, and his return is important here.