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Yes, the Bengals are an elite team

Bengals OTA Football AP

The Bengals are an elite team.

Come on.  Say it with me.

The Bengals are an elite team.

How elite?  How about No. 6?

Largely ignored and overlooked due to a lingering presumption of mediocrity (at best), an unwillingness to spend money, and a propensity to bring bad guys to town, the Bengals quietly have put together under coach Marvin Lewis one of the most balanced rosters in the entire league.

With a high dose of continuity fueled by a surprising lack of interest in their assistant coaches and their free agents, the Bengals have a chance to do something they haven’t done since the week before they ended Bo Jackson’s football career in January 1991.  Win a playoff game.

We suspect that more than a few of you will disagree.  But go ahead and vote anyway on whether they’re too high (i.e., we’re high), too low, or just right.

But at least hear us out before doubting their preseason position.

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41 Responses to “Yes, the Bengals are an elite team”
  1. Iknoweverything says: Jul 22, 2013 9:03 AM

    Say it with me.
    Seattle is the most dominate, elite team.
    Say it with me.
    Seahawks are #1

  2. godofwine330 says: Jul 22, 2013 9:10 AM

    I am a Browns fan first, and after that the Bengals (Ohio native, so it ain’t cheating) and the Ravens (the old Browns, so again it ain’t cheating) are my favorite teams when they aren’t playing the Browns. To have them ranked ahead of the Patriots is saying something. I really feel they are on the upswing. I know there are going ot be major comments, but they are a pretty balanced team that outside of my Browns I cannot wait to see.

    Go Bengals…of course after Go Browns!!!

  3. whitdog23 says: Jul 22, 2013 9:10 AM

    Bengals didn’t end Bo Jackson’s career. he took a long stride while trying to break a tackle…just so happened to be against Bengals. but to blame them is ridiculous

  4. juanweiner says: Jul 22, 2013 9:14 AM

    What little shred of credibility this website had was just whisked away like an elephant fart in the wind.

  5. titansbro says: Jul 22, 2013 9:16 AM

    I actually like the Bengals too, pretty solid at every position. But to be elite Dalton will have to take a major step forward. Elite teams don’t have average QBs.

  6. irishgary says: Jul 22, 2013 9:22 AM

    Sorry the Packers would handle these guys easily. Need to get a playoff win before being labeled elite

  7. bengals30 says: Jul 22, 2013 9:25 AM

    San Fran started 6-2 with Alex smith last year

  8. PeterKingLovesCoqAVin says: Jul 22, 2013 9:26 AM

    The Bengals will make the playoffs and the Patriots will not.

  9. truthfactory says: Jul 22, 2013 9:39 AM

    The Bengals are ranked higher than the Pats, but if these two teams were to open the season in a head to head matchup AT Cincy, the Pats would still be favored by 4 or 5 points.

  10. mdp44 says: Jul 22, 2013 9:43 AM

    This is ridiculous. The texans are 10 because they have under achieved and the bengals are 6, even though the texans beat them two years in a row in the playoffs.

  11. Joemontanaflacco says: Jul 22, 2013 10:08 AM

    This has got to be painful for Steelers’ fans. Both the Bengals and the Ravens are in the top 6 and the Steelers are stuck in the basement at 15, not even playoff worthy. Expect that typical Steelers bandwagon to empty out real soon.

  12. natigator says: Jul 22, 2013 10:11 AM

    The Bengals SHOULD have a top 5 defense (although the lack of movement in getting Dashon Goldson in free agency was completely baffling).

    The special teams should be solid enough.

    Offense is a concern, they stagnated quite a bit towards the second part of last season, culminating with the second straight blow out to the Texans in the playoffs. If Geo Bernard and Tyler Eifert are as good as advertised AND Sanu comes back 100% the offense should have way more weapons. I dont know that Dalton is elite though.

    I do think the Bengals win the AFC North, and I do think they win a playoff game at home. I don’t think they are the in the conversation with San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Atlanta, and Baltimore (who they are better than).

  13. schmitty2 says: Jul 22, 2013 10:11 AM

    I’m just hoping they don’t get the Texans in the playoffs. It’s like Ground Hog day

  14. bengalguy says: Jul 22, 2013 10:39 AM

    C’mon haters…….bring the hate. Dalton dosen’t have to be Elite…..the Defense & O-line are!
    By the way, Eli wasn’t elite before he won his 1st SB either…….common thread? D-Line!!!!!
    WHO DEY!!!!! The Roar has been Restored!!!!!!!!

  15. lifeimitatesfootball says: Jul 22, 2013 10:53 AM

    After saying the same thing yesterday but my comment getting deleted, I’ll say it again: NO WAY are the Bengals ahead of the Patriots when they simply cannot beat the Dolphins. In Cincy! (and they won’t beat the Dolphins this year either, in Miami)…which is something the Pats so almost always, home or away. And they won’t beat the Pats this year either, in or not in playoffs.

  16. bengalguy says: Jul 22, 2013 10:57 AM

    Dalton was runner-up to ROY & went to the Pro-Bowl & took the team to the playoffs. THEN he comes back and gets better in every statistical category, and goes BACK to the playoffs. His Stats are pretty compare able to Bobby III & the boy in Seahagtown. LOOK IT UP. WHO DEY!!!!

  17. walkinginthewasteland says: Jul 22, 2013 11:02 AM

    Elite teams win playoff games. The Bengals haven’t. Its no more complicated then that.

    The ranking at this level is the same sort of inanity as annual predictions by Berman or other media clowns that the Bengals or Bills will win the Superbowl.

  18. CKL says: Jul 22, 2013 11:08 AM

    I think they are a playoff team for sure but not sure they are better than the Texans.

  19. htown1035 says: Jul 22, 2013 11:08 AM

    Texans are #10 despite going 12-4 and beating said Bengals in the playoffs and having the majority of that team back, and the Bengals are #6.

    Switch them, and it makes more sense.

  20. bobzilla1001 says: Jul 22, 2013 11:13 AM

    Until the Bengals start to consistently beat above-average teams, they will continue to be looked upon as also-rans.
    James Harrison is a plus.
    Marvin Lewis is a minus.
    So, it’s six of one and a half-dozen of another.

  21. colv says: Jul 22, 2013 11:17 AM

    Marv and the GM have basically said they changed their business plan to resemble successful franchises like the Pittsburg Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. Took them way to long to figure this out but good luck to one of my favorite coaches Marvin Lewis. If Ravens can’t do it again go Bengals.

  22. vikingsrulez69 says: Jul 22, 2013 11:28 AM

    Zero chance the bengals are a better team than my Vikings – who were ranked 16th. This is ridiculous.

  23. stoptrippn says: Jul 22, 2013 11:29 AM

    I think if the bengals let Taylor Mays finally play…they will be a “over the hump” team in the playoffs. He is what the doctor ordered.

  24. stlunatik says: Jul 22, 2013 11:34 AM

    Right. #6 if you start at 32 and work down

  25. realfootballfan says: Jul 22, 2013 11:35 AM

    Hard to say because everything rides on whether Dalton can take the next step. I know he can mentally, the question is his physical limitations.

    Also, there seem to be better coaching options on the staff, namely Hue jackson and Mike Zimmer, than Marvin Lewis has shown to be so far at head coach, but it will be interesting to see how that works out, too.

    However, I agree that the rest of the roster is stacked, especially on defense.

  26. junglerat524 says: Jul 22, 2013 11:54 AM

    This is not last year. The ranking is fair. Stop crying.

  27. redsoxu571 says: Jul 22, 2013 12:16 PM

    This is why I didn’t understand people calling the Cowboys “overrated” with a #14 ranking…the Bengals being #6 (no problem with that) shows that there aren’t many clearly top-level teams, and I don’t see what’s wrong with ranking a .500 team that was riddled with injuries JUST ahead of the middle of the pack.s

  28. footballchic777 says: Jul 22, 2013 12:24 PM

    And now let the normal disparaging remarks about the Bengals commence…….. BUT, be willing to eat crow when they prove you wrong! I can think of few if any teams that get less respect than Cincinnati, so it is nice to see someone finally give them their due! Looking forward to a great Bengals year!

  29. mattbarkley123 says: Jul 22, 2013 12:55 PM

    Eagles are the best team in the league.
    say it with me.
    every other team sucks.
    #allfacts

  30. rajbais says: Jul 22, 2013 1:05 PM

    Bengals and Dalton = overrated = “talented” = 2008 Dallas Cowboys.

  31. Johnny-5-is-alive says: Jul 22, 2013 1:06 PM

    As a Bengals fan, I will admit that I was a bit surprised to see them at #6. No one outside of the AFCN actually recognizes the Bengals for what they are – a dominant team with very few weak points. The coaching is excellent, the owner and front office have went from being one of the league’s worst to one of the league’s best, the Defense is a top 5 unit (if not #1 overall), and the Offense is blossoming. Dalton has seen growing pains, no doubt about it, but with him entering his third year with A.J. Green, Jermaine Gresham, and Mohammed Sanu, it should keep trending up. They added the RB that they needed and the best TE in the draft.

    The Bengals WILL make the playoffs again, and WILL make noise there. I won’t predict a Super Bowl because there is still a team in the AFC better than them (Denver). However, it would not surprise me one bit.

    The reason people are negative about the Bengals is that they remember the 90′s….they remember the recent lack of playoff success…..they remember off the field and motivational issues that the team has had. They choose not to pay attention to the current success, and huge up-trending of the organization. The Bengals will be a force to reckon with for years to come along with teams like San Francisco, Denver, Seattle, Baltimore, and Atlanta.

    The 5 teams above them are clear….they’re just better at this point. However, the teams below them are not. The Patriots are a mess (although with Brady and Belichek you cannot count them out), The Packers are extremely one-dimensional on Offense with an average at best Defense, and the Texans have the same problem as the Bengals……no Elite QB with massive talent everywhere else. Like it or not, the Bengals at #6 is a completely fair ranking.

  32. beelicker says: Jul 22, 2013 1:29 PM

    @Iknoweverythingexceptmaybesimplegrammar&spelling

    “dominate” is a verb, “dominant” is the adjective form

    Using the former for the latter makes you look like quite

    an illiterate boob … just so you know.

  33. thefox61 says: Jul 22, 2013 1:47 PM

    The Bengals are getting better and they may even surprise this year. Elite? No. Number 6? Too high.

  34. Stiller43 says: Jul 22, 2013 1:49 PM

    Sorry, their QB is average and their offensive output the last couple years (and in the playoffs) has been downright awful.

    Youre not elite if thats the case.

    They’ll be in the mix for the AFCN crown though…coming from a steelers fan.

  35. m3dman3 says: Jul 22, 2013 2:13 PM

    Lol at this post and lol at that moron Seahawks fan.

  36. blackngold4life says: Jul 22, 2013 3:34 PM

    Only reason Bengals made the playoffs is both the Ravens and Steelers had off seasons #6 way too high (right now)

  37. foosball1984 says: Jul 22, 2013 6:28 PM

    while i don’t think the bengals are an elite team, they do have elite talent at spots on the team, if dalton can progress even further, (btw he’s getting way too much criticism when he will only be entering his third year, remember it took flacco till his fifth year to win it all and that’s with pedestrian numbers up until the playoffs this year), but anyways the bengals could suprise alot of people this year, m. lewis needs to coach and quit making dumb decisions on the sidelines, and j. gruden needs to open up the offensive playbook this year, my biggest concern is consistency with this team, i think their defense should be even better this year and look for their “o” to go to the next level with the added rookie rb and te.

  38. lionsmark09 says: Jul 22, 2013 7:51 PM

    If you think the Bengals have more talent than the Lions you need to be drug tested. Who comes up with this garbage?

  39. foosball1984 says: Jul 22, 2013 9:54 PM

    @lionsmark09, i think you need to be drug tested, detroit sucks besides megatron, you have average or below average players at every postion, and by the way geno atkins > dumb suh

  40. joetoronto says: Jul 23, 2013 6:14 AM

    Got rings?

    Exactly, SMH.

  41. whodey83 says: Jul 24, 2013 1:14 PM

    You’re right Joe. A team can’t be good if they’ve never won the Super Bowl. Go Blue Jays.

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