Bengals News NFL: Cincinnati Bengals 2017 fourth round pick Josh Malone is pushing for playing time.



Cincinnati Bengals 2017 Season Preview




Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Posted on 7/15/2017.


Cincinnati Bengals Free Agency Recap


The Bengals got Andre Smith to bolster the offensive line and Kevin Minter at linebacker. They didn't wow anybody with their Free Agency moves.



Cincinnati Bengals Draft Recap


Cincinnati drafted John Ross, Joe Mixon, and Jordan Willis, and Josh Morgan with their first four picks. How those guys do will ultimately determine how good the Bengals draft was. Mason Schreck began as a fourth string tight end, but has already moved up to third string despite being a seventh round pick so he may push for a final roster spot as well.




Cincinnati Bengals Quarterback Summary: Andy Dalton returns as the starter with A.J. McCarron as a backup. Quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese got promoted from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator after being the Bengals quarterback coach for 13 years in a row. Good things really happen to those who wait. Bill Lazor who failed as an offensive coordinator will be the Bengals quarterbacks coach. He won't call plays on offense like Zampese, but he will be essential in developing both Dalton and McCarron during practice. To be honest I think that role best suits Lazor. He's great at working with quarterbacks, yet horrendous at calling plays.


Cincinnati Bengals Running Back Summary: Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard are back to give opposing run defenses crap while offending fantasy owners in the process. Now you add rookie Joe Mixon into the equation and its anyones job. Hill is favored to win the running back job with Bernard as the backup and Joe Mixon on third string at the moment. That could all change in training camp though. Running backs coach Kyle Caskey enters his fourth season with the Bengals.


Cincinnati Bengals Wide Receiver Summary: A.J. Green is still this teams #1 flanker receiver, but he had a season ending injury after the Bengals got off to a bad start. Cincinnati couldn't replace what Sanu and Jones did in 2016 especially after A.J. Green got injured. They got more receivers though. Now you got Brandon LaFell, John Ross, Tyler Boyd, and Josh Morgan fighting for that #2 receiver job. I believe Ross gets placed in the slot due to his size at 5-10 leaving LaFell, Boyd, or Morgan to claim the #2 receiver job. You also got Cody Core as a backup for depth. James Urban is one of the best receivers coaches in the NFL and will find a way to make this situation work.


Cincinnati Bengals Tight End Summary: The Bengals may not have a tight end coach that is very good. They have a top 5 tight end in Tyler Eifert when healthy and second year tight end Tyler Kroft out of Rutgers will step up if Eifert goes down. Mason Schreck, who wowed me on tape as a late round pick out of Buffalo is pushing C.J. Uzomah for that third string job.


Cincinnati Bengals Offensive Line Summary: Cincinnati lost their two best offensive lineman in Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler. I'm not comfortable with who they brought in as the additions the Bengals made could result in more sacks that quarterback Andy Dalton takes.


Cedric Ogbuhei was Cincinnati's right tackle last year and he was awful. Now he's moving to left tackle with Jake Fisher playing right tackle. Both of Cincinnati's 2015 first and second round picks will start at offensive tackle this season.


Cincinnati has Clint Boling at left guard along with Christian Westerman as a backup left guard. Cincinnati's former right tackle Andre Smith is moving inside where he will play right guard where Zeitler played.


Russell Bodine is one of the worst centers in the NFL in terms of blocking. He's very durable and never misses a start. I ask myself if Bodine has dirt on the Bengals because I seriously wonder how he's kept his job as the teams starting center the last three seasons.


Paul Alexander is the Cincinnati Bengals offensive line coach. He's also the Bengals assistant head coach meaning he becomes interim head coach if Marvin Lewis gets fired during the regular season.


The Bengals went from 7th in point per game under Hue Jackson in 2015 to 24th without Jackson in 2016. The Bengals ranked 13th in total yards, 15th in passing yards, and 13th in rushing yards in 2016. Cincinnati still had a top 15 offense without A.J. Green, but that was largely due to having Whitworth and Zeitler on the offensive line. Now that those guys are gone, the Bengals may get worse in this department.



Cincinnati Bengals Defensive Line Summary: Michael Johnson only had 5 sacks at 4-3 right end in 2015. That total dropped to 3.5 in 2016, yet Johnson is still projected to start at 4-3 right end. Cincinnati has Carlos Dunlap at 4-3 left end. If either defensive end gets injured, Jordan Willis their third round pick who was a 4-3 left end at Kansas State will step in. I'm guessing Willis will be a situational pass rusher in Cincinnati. I see Willis as a 4-3 left end so it wouldn't hurt to draft another 4-3 right end.


The Bengals have a decent defensive tackle situation. Geno Atkins remains a force, but he may command some double teams. Pat Sims and Andrew Billings are going to compete for the starting spot across from Atkins.


Marvin Lewis is great with developing both defensive linemen and linebackers and that's why he became defensive coordinator and eventually head coach. Marcus Lewis is working for his dad in Cincinnati as the teams defensive line coach. Marcus played linebacker growing up so he can probably coach defensive linemen or linebackers just like his father.


Cincinnati Bengals Linebacker Summary: The Bengals are awesome at developing linebackers. Vontaze Burfict will start at 4-3 right outside linebacker. Kevin Minter is replacing Rey Maualuga at middle linebacker. Vincent Rey, Marquis Flowers, and Carl Lawson are all competing for the 4-3 left outside linebacker job. Marvin Lewis knows how to develop linebackers at head coach and his son played linebacker before being a defensive line coach in the NFL. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther is awesome at developing linebackers. The Bengals linebackers coach is former Saints head coach Jim Haslett.


Cincinnati Bengals Defensive Backs Summary: Dre Kirkpatrick will remain the teams field cornerback with Adam Jones at boundary cornerback. Darqueze Dennard, Josh Shaw, and William Jackson III, their 2016 first round pick are all pushing each other for that nickel job.


George Iloka is the only reliable safety on this roster. Shawn Williams is the other safety starting next to Iloka and he needs to be replaced. The Bengals failed to replace Vance Joseph as their defensive backs coach last year and now Vance Joseph is the Denver Broncos head coach.


The Bengals struggled in some defensive categories in 2016. Cincinnati was 23rd in sacks in 2016 and 8th in points allowed with 19.7 points per game in 2016. Cincinnati only allowed 17.4 points per game in 2015 despite having a better ranked points allowed total in 2016.


Cincinnati was also 17th in total yards allowed, 11th in pass defense, and 21st in run defense. Cincinnati declined in sacks in 2016 like I expected, but they could remain a team with a lethal pass defense.



Cincinnati Bengals Special Teams Summary: Darrin Simmons has been the Bengals special teams coordinator for fourteen years now. Jake Elliott the rookie kicker out of Memphis is replacing Mike Nugent. Kevin Huber is still there at punter.




Cincinnati Bengals Worst Case Scenario: The Bengals get worse at left tackle and 4-3 right end. This leads to the Bengals finishing last in the AFC North with a 2-14 record that would be second worst to only the New York Jets.


Cincinnati Bengals Best Case Scenario: Cincinnati goes 10-6 and regains their playoff form. Their offensive tackles that they took in the first two rounds of the 2015 NFL Draft, Cedric Ogbuhei and Jake Fisher show they can be good starters allowing the Bengals to squeak into the playoffs.


Cincinnati Bengals 2017 NFL Schedule


Week
Date
Opponent
Time
Cable Network
Result
Week 1
September 10
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 2
September 14
VS
8:25 PM EST
NFL Network
W
Week 3
September 24
AT
4:25 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 4
October 1
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 5
October 8
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 6
Bye Week
Week 7
October 22
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 8
October 29
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 9
November 5
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 10
November 12
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 11
November 19
AT
4:25 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 12
November 26
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 13
December 4
VS
8:30 PM EST
ESPN
L
Week 14
December 10
VS
1 EST
FOX
W
Week 15
December 17
VS
1 EST
CBS
L
Week 16
December 24
VS
1 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 17
December 31
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L


Cincinnati Bengals 2017 Projected Record (4-12): I really dislike the fact that Cincinnati is thin at left tackle and 4-3 right end which are my two most important positions after quarterback. Dalton has been reliable, but he also had a great supporting cast in place for many years.


The good news for Bengals fans is whenever I pick the Bengals to finish last they usually get 10 wins. I had the Bengals in last place in my 2013, 2014, and 2015 season previews so that's fantastic news if you are a Bengals fan because the Bengals are a team I've been dead wrong about for four years in a row now.









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