The Cincinnati Bengals weren't expected to be a contender for a playoff spot with a rookie quarterback and a rookie No. 1 wide receiver in 2011, but their young tandem proved everyone wrong with their performances. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green exceeded all expectations and were a big part of why the Bengals sneaked into the AFC's final playoff spot. They'll try to repeat that feat as underdogs again in 2012, and they begin their training camp on Wednesday, July 25.
Because of their tough division, the Bengals won't be expected to make the playoffs again, but it would be difficult to argue that they did not get better. They held onto their best players, improved their running game by picking up BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and drafted a couple of rookies that should start right away. Dre Kirkpatrick and Kevin Zeitler should immediately improve the cornerback and offensive guard positions.
They're just as good as the team that went 9-7 last year. The only question about the Bengals is whether or not they were lucky to achieve that record in the first place.
Check out our Cincinnati Bengals offseason report for more ahead of training camp.
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