The Cincinnati Bengals are one of the top up-and-coming teams in the NFL, and just two years after having the fourth worst record in the NFL, they have appeared in the playoffs twice and lost to the Houston Texans.
I think the Bengals are ready to take the next step. In Andy Dalton and A.J. Green’s third year, this team is ready to take flight with a top 10 defense and an offensive arsenal full of playmakers.
Cincinnati has done an excellent job of drafting over the last few seasons, and they are poised to take over the AFC North with the Baltimore Ravens having won the Super Bowl and experiencing the most turnover of any playoff team in the league it seems like.
Here are three breakout players that I think we’ll see step up for the Bengals in 2013, one from each of the last three draft classes.
Third year — Andy Dalton, QB
Andy Dalton is ready to bust out and become one of the most prolific passers in the NFL. After a stellar rookie campaign in 2011 as a second round pick, Dalton followed it up with another big season in 2012, throwing for 3,669 yards and 27 touchdowns. So how has Dalton not broken out yet?
Well, I want to see Dalton improve upon two major things–interceptions and 300 yard passing games. I know the last thing might be a little ticky tack on my part, but Dalton has just five 300 yard passing games so far in his NFL career. He also needs to bump up the completion percentage, which is a hair under 63 percent.
I think in year three, Dalton will break out and become one of the top signal callers in the league.