They need to let Cedric Benson hit the ground running in 2010.
The Cincinnati Bengals, I thought, were going to beat up on the Jets in the wildcard round this season and the Jets managed to follow up their beatdown in the last week of the season with another beatdown. WOW!
Well, the Bengals don’t stink–that’s for sure. They swept the AFC Central and for all the people out there who want to crap on them and say “The Ravens and Steelers were down this year” you have to think: They still beat the Ravens, Steelers and the Browns (yes, even the Browns…that’s why you play the games) twice each this season.
They have a really nice offense. They picked up Larry Johnson off the scrap heap from Kansas City and they have Chad Johnson (who is still a very good receiver) and Carson Palmer. They have a great defense and a good defensive coach. They’re very impressive.
What do they do to improve on 2009? They need a stronger defense. Did you see how badly they got whooped by the Jets twice in a row? It’s not like the Jets offense was beating people 100-0 all last season. They need a stronger line…a MUCH stronger line. They had a hard time making people respect them and go to the passing game.
If they can’t keep people from running on them next season it’s only going to get worse. All the tape from this season will simply compound their problems. If everyone gets to “rinse and repeat” from this season the Bengals will be the last or next-to-last rushing defense in the whole league…guaranteed.
It would be a shame to see Marvin Lewis not be able to build on the success of this season, but if he doesn’t I won’t be surprised.
Perhaps the Bengals might have caught whatever the Falcons had…isn’t it called “Can’t-do-better-than-last-season-itis”?