Bengals 2011 Season Odds
(The Spread) – There has been a major changing of the guard in Cincinnati this offseason, as the new-look Bengals head into 2011 with a lot of uncertainty.
Out is Carson Palmer at quarterback and Chad Ochocinco at receiver, and in is Andy Dalton and A.J. Green. Dalton, the All-American from TCU, was selected in the second round of April’s draft to take over the reigns from Palmer, who would rather retire than play another down in Cincinnati. And just like Palmer had with Ochocinco (who was traded to the Patriots this offseason), Dalton should have a nice target to throw to in Green (who was selected with the fourth overall pick in April’s draft).
Despite the excitement that is building in Cincinnati, oddsmakers are obviously skeptical about whether or not Dalton and Green can lift the Bengals to new heights so early in their careers. Cincinnati is currently 100/1 long shots to win the 2012 Super Bowl, 50/1 long shots to win the AFC, and +1400 long shots to win the AFC North.
The Bengals do have some nice young talent on both sides of the ball, including cornerback Leon Hall, defensive tackle Domata Peko and middle linebacker Rey Maualuga. They also signed free agents Manny Lawson and Nate Clements, as well as brought back running back Cedric Benson (who got into a little legal trouble this offseason so he was brought back on the cheap).
That said, the Bengals will only go as far as Dalton takes them. If puts together a rookie season similar to that of Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco or Sam Bradford, Cincinnati will be competitive this season. But just like those three quarterbacks, Dalton is expected to suffer plenty of bumps and bruises along the way. In due time he may turn the Bengals into an annual contender but for now, the jury is still out.