Week 1: Fourth quarter rally lifts Bengals to first win

Key expiring contracts:

TE, Tyler Eifert (OVR 92)
LT, Andrew Whitmorth (OVR 95)
RG, Kevin Zeitler (OVR 86)

WK 1: at NY Jets, Bengals won 21-13
WK 2: at Pittsburgh, Sun, 1:00 pm
WK 3: Denver, Sun, 1:00 pm
WK 4: Miami, Thu, 8:25 pm

Rd 1, Pick 24 – CB, William Jackson III (OVR 72)
Rd 2, Pick 24 – WR, Tyler Boyd (OVR 71)
Rd 3, Pick 24 – ILB, Nick Vigil (OVR 66)
Rd 4, Pick 24 – DT, Andrew Billings (OVR 72)

Team Feed

2018 Season: Q&A with Bengals General Manager

Thoughts on the outcome of last season?

Considering we made it to the Super Bowl to face the Green Bay Packers, I believe it was a huge success. Of course winning the Super Bowl and not losing to Green Bay, would have been the icing on the cake.

Our season looked dim when And Dalton got injured in Week 8. Our backup, A.J. McCarron was pressed into service unexpectedly and did the best he could under pressure, but in the four weeks he filled in, the team went on a three-game losing streak and fell behind Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

After Andy came back, the team got back on track and we ran the table for the rest of the season. We had to wait and see what Pittsburgh and Baltimore would do and fortunately for us, both of them struggled in the late weeks. That gave us an open door to make the playoffs, but we got more than just a postseason berth, we won the division.

But, despite our successes, we saw weakness in stopping the pass. Our pass defense finsihed near the bottom of the league. Thankfully our rush defense was steller! We were ranked number one in stopping the run. That helped balance out our defense and with a great offense, we had what it took to go as far as we did.

What was your number one priority entering the offseason?

Our number one priority in the offseason was to improve our secondary. We decided that the best way was through free agency and we would focus on walking away from the free agency stage with an upgrade at Strong Safety.

What was your biggest move in the offseason?

We inked SS T.J. Ward to a 3-year, $16.8M contract. We think he’s a good fit and can help us to be more effective against the pass.

What were your expectations entering the Draft?

Last season, we gave away a fan favorite (MLB Rey Maualuga) to the Broncos in order to move up in the draft to #2. We were 100% focused on acquiring a top receiver and got that in Javonte Gordon from Oklahoma. This year’s draft, we made some calls but no one wanted to deal. So, we stayed low in draft order and landed free safety Rashaun Cole. Cole is an upgrade and we believe he will develop into a great player.

What will determine the success of the next season?

Staying healthy.

Are there any priorities during the upcoming regular season?

Left end Carlos Dunlap, our highest rated player, is up for a contract extension. We’ll start talks with him and see where they go. We also have the option of using the Franchise Tag for the first time in a while to keep him with the team.

League Updates

Week 1: AFC North Winners and Losers

AFC-logoBaltimore 28, Buffalo 27
Joe Flacco passed for 299 yds, TD… Ravens WR Steve Smith Jr caught 7 passes for 143 yds. Buffalo split QB duties between Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manuel.

Philadelphia 31, Cleveland 17
Browns QB Robert Griffin III was sacked 7 times. He finished with a rating of 66.4 (190 yds, TD, INT)

Cincinnati 21, NY Jets 13
Andy Dalton picked up where he left off before his injury in 2015, leading the Bengals to an opening win at New York with a 4th quarter rally.

Washington 35, Pittsburgh 32
The Redskins won the shootout. Kirk Cousins had 5 TD passes and Ben Roethlisberger rung up 4. And they combined for over 580 passing yards. Where’s the defense?

QB Controversy Already in Buffalo?

Buffalo_Bills_logo.svgBaltimore beat Buffalo 28-27 in Week 1 with Joe Flacco leading the Ravens at quarterback (19-for-32, 299 yds, TD). The Bills were led by Tyrod Taylor (11-for-17, 129 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT) and EJ Manuel (8-for-16, 78 yds, TD). Taylor is listed as the 1st string QB. Who will be the team’s leader next week?

Winners and Losers from Week 1

In a rematch of last season’s Superbowl, the Panthers were the victors this time, defeating the Denver Broncos 34-14. Cam Newton stole the spotlight with 3 TD passes, and 29 yds rushing on 8 carries.  At quarterback, Denver split the play-calling between rookie Paxton Lynch (14-25, 95 yds, 2 TD) and Mark Sanchez (7-16, 95 yds, 1 INT).

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