The defending AFC North Champion Cincinnati Bengals remained somewhat quiet in the offseason but made a key move in obtaining wide receiver Antonio Bryant to improve a lackluster passing offense that ranked 26th last year. Bryant is not a well known receiver in the NFL but he is talented and a big play receiver who can open up the field for Carson Palmer. Bryant was limited with a knee injury early last season only catching 52 balls for 750 yards and 6 touchdowns although he put up big numbers in 2008 with 83 catches, 1,248 yards and 7 TD’s for a Tampa Bay team that had Jeff Garcia and Brian Griese at quarterback.
Carson Palmer had a down season last year after coming off an injury in 2008 as he passed for 3,094 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions with only a 60.5 completion rate. Carson will be much more comfortable after playing a full year after his injury and with Bryant on the other side of Chad Ochocinco; it will greatly improve a passing game that only averaged 6.6 yards per attempt in 2009.
The Cincinnati Bengal running game strived last season with the emergence of former Chicago Bear running back Cedric Benson who had a breakout season with 1,251 yards last year despite ufabet บอลชุด missing three regular season games. Benson ranked 8th in the NFL in rushing and if he can stay healthy the Bengals will be able to set the pass up with a run game that NFL teams must pay attention to.
The Bengals have been known for their quick scoring offense over the past few years but last season their defense emerged as head coach Marvin Lewis finally has a solid defense that comes to play every week. NFL fans talk about the great cornerbacks from the NY Jets in Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie but the Bengals have two cornerbacks that may be just as good as a duo combination in Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph who each had six interceptions a piece in 2009. The Bengals also had a stingy rush defense that finished 7th in rushing defense allowing 100 plus yards in only five games last season.
Cincinnati will have a balanced attack as they kept their defense on the field too long last season although they performed at a high level week after week. The Bengals could be hurt by their strength of schedule as they play in a tough ACF North conference with the Ravens and the Steelers but they will at least make the playoffs as a wild card team in 2010.