The Bengals have a 25-14-2 ATS record all-time in games where A.J. Green scores a touchdown
Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals posted their fourth-straight season of double-digit wins in 2015, narrowly losing a first round playoff game to the Steelers. There are sweeping changes to the Bengal offense but the elite talent remains intact. The big question is whether or not this team can shake the playoff monkey that’s haunted them since 1990.
LAST YEAR’S RECORD & 2016 NFL FUTURES
Win-Loss: 12-4 SU and 12-3-1 ATS
Over/Under: 7-9 O/U
Noteworthy: The Bengals start with two road games (Jets, Steelers) before a Week 3 home opener vs. the Broncos. The past nine times (beyond Week 1) that Cinci’s home opener was against a winning team from the previous year, they have played 1 over and 8 unders.
Battles between AFC North/Central heavyweights have signified smashmouth football over the decades, but in January’s home playoff tilt vs. the Steelers, Cinci took it one step too far. Vontaze Burfict’s helmet to helmet hit on Antonio Brown doused the Bengals hope of ending their postseason slump, and sent HC Marvin Lewis back to the drawing board.
Dalton posted career numbers before injuring his thumb in Week 14 but he’s fully recovered and has worked during the off-season to help install a new offense with first-year O-Co Ken Zampese. The two have a great chemistry (Zampese was Cinci’s QB coach 2003-15) and they also have AJ Green. Enough said.
The new supporting cast includes Brandon LaFell (Pats) and second round pick Tyler Boyd. RBs Giovanni Bernard and Jeremy Hill return, as does TE Tyler Eifert. Cedrick Ogbuehi slides into RT to replace Andre Smith and this top-10 O-Line shouldn’t miss a beat.
Other than a lack of discipline, the Bengals D is a perfect compliment to the offense. They gave up the fourth-fewest passing yards and were 10th against the pass overall. They made at least one pick in all but three games and went 5-1-1 ATS during seven contests with an interception plus at least three sacks. Since 2012, Cinci is the third-best team overall with this combination of success (18-4-1 ATS) and the top “Under” team at 5-18 O/U.
BENGALS BOTTOM LINE: HAVE D — WILL TRAVEL
Away games are a good opportunity for teams with a tough, balanced defense to earn wins vs. equal caliber competition. When the line is within +/-3 points of ‘Pick’, the record for these road warriors since 1989 is 315-89-17 ATS (78-percent). Circle Cinci’s road games against the Jets (Week 1), Cowboys (Week 5), Giants (Week 10), Ravens (Week 12) and Texans (Week 16) for potential spots to earn a cover.