|Should you bust out the bag now or wait until week two?|
Number one: drunk babies have longer attention spans than people on the internet.
We realize that if something on the internet takes you more than five minutes to read, you're probably not going to read it. That's why we're going to keep this preview relatively short (it will be 67 paragraphs shorter than anything you've ever read on Grantland.com)
Number two: We're trying so hard to keep this preview short, we're not even going to finish this list.
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to 2011 Bengals preview.
|Did Ben Savage's career peak with Boy Meets World?|
So lets talk about Carson Palmer.
You can do some risky things in life -- having an unprotected one-night stand with someone who has AIDS comes to mind -- but Carson Palmer one-upped even that.
Palmer got into a $45 million game of chicken with the stingiest owner in professional sports.
The odds of Palmer winning this standoff with Mike Brown are about the same as Hanson and 50 Cent touring together next summer.
Thanks to Palmer's poorly planned power play, Carson is now in retirement and the Bengals had to pick up Andy Dalton in the second round of the 2011 NFL draft.
Once the lockout ended and it became clear that Dalton would be the Bengals starter this season, we here at INSIC did something that we've never done before: research.
If you get bored easily, have A.D.D or are putting off sex with your girlfriend until you've finished reading this preview, you may want to stop reading now.
The first two paragraphs were a complete lie to get you to read this, this preview isn't going to be short at all. It's going to be twice as long as anything you've ever read at Grantland and three times as long as anything we've ever written. It will rival the dictionary in length.
On that note, lets start the real preview, which isn't a preview at all, but actually a seven question quiz that's going to convince Bengals fans that Cincinnati can win this season.
Q1: Since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, how many quarterbacks picked in the second round of the NFL draft have been the opening day starter for their team?
|Bengals fans will be bonging Captain this season.|
This means Andy Dalton is doing something that's never been done before. He is the first second round pick to be his team's opening day starter.
Since 2000, there's been several second round draftees that started for their teams during their rookie year -- Brian Brohm, Tavaris Jackson, John Beck, Quincy Carter and Jimmy Clausen are all on the list -- but none of them have ever started the opening game.
This means Andy Dalton is the man. Also, now that Jeff Garcia is no longer playing, Dalton is now the only red-headed starting QB in the league.
Q2: What's the most wins a second round QB has ever had in his rookie season?
A: The answer is five wins (Tony Banks-1996, Charlie Batch-1998).
Q3: Is Andy Dalton going to obliterate this record?
A: Probably. Dalton is walking into an ideal situation (its not acutally an ideal situation, but its as ideal as a situation like this gets). He has a strong running game behind him, so he won't be forced to take over games. Batch was in a similar situation with the Lions (Barry Sanders at RB). Batch went 5-7 in 12 starts and four of those seven losses were by one score. Is Cedric Benson Barry Sanders? No. But the Bengals 2011 defense should be a lot better than the Lions 1998 D was, so it evens out.
|Will Andy Dalton ever be on the SI cover?|
A: Nothing beats a good Boomer Esiason fact - except being laid by a J-woww lookalike in a Paul Brown Stadium bathroom - but we digress. Esiason was a second round pick in 1984 and guess what? Esiason started four games for the Bengals.
Boomer is one of 21 second round draft picks since 1970 that have started at least one game in their rookie season. Guess what else? Boomer went 3-1 as a starter, which gives him the record for best winning percentage by a second round draft pick in his rookie season. If Dalton ties Boomer's record, that means the Bengals go 12-4 this year.
Q5: Everyone is saying that Dalton will be a liability this season, but seriously, can he suck more than Carson Palmer did last year?
Carson Palmer single-handedly cost the Bengals several games last season. The Bengals lost eight of their 12 games last year by one score. However, Carson Palmer didn't suck-suck, he just kind of sucked. He threw more pick-6's then Antonio Cromartie has children, but in his defense, he did have to put up with Ocho and T.O.
Q6: What's your prediction for 2011?
Q7: WTF, 7-9, no way, please explain.
A: The Bengals lucked out with the easiest opening seven games ever. Lets take a look real quick:
9/11 @Browns: Cleveland has won exactly one season opener since 1999. Advantage Bengals.
9/18 @Broncos: If there's one AFC team that could outsuck everyone this year, its Denver. Advantage Bengals.
|Can the Carrot Top Cannon get the Bengals off to a quick start?|
10/2 Buffalo: Everyone in Cincinnati witnessed the shit show that was the 2008 Bengals season. Ryan Fitzpatrick engineered that. He is now QB for the Bills. Advantage Bengals.
10/9 @Jaguars: Jacksonville CUT their starting QB five days before the season opener. In terms of winning games, that doesn't usually work out to well for you. Advantage Bengals.
10/16 @Colts: If Kerry Collins is the Colts QB in this game, bet your first child's second child on the Bengals. No Manning. Advantage Bengals.
|With an early schedule|
easier than Deena, the
Bengals could top out
at 9-7 this year.
These opening seven games are easier than a drunk Deena, if the Bengals can go 5-2 or 6-1 in this stretch, Dalton's confidence will shoot up faster than the BAC of a college freshman at their first frat party. If this happens, then anything is possible.
We think they'll go 4-3 in this stretch and then 3-6 the rest of the way.
This post is probably still too short for Grantland, isn't it?
Week One Picks:
Green Bay 28-21 over New Orleans
Cincinnati 20-19 over Cleveland
Atlanta 24-17 over Chicago
Kansas City 20-17 over Buffalo
Philadelphia 21-20 over St. Louis
Detroit 27-20 over Tampa Bay
Tennessee 17-13 over Jacksonville
Pittsburgh 21-13 over Baltimore
Houston 31-17 over Indianapolis
NY Giants 20-14 over Washington
San Diego 35-24 over Minnesota
Seattle 24-16 over San Francisco
Arizona 24-10 over Carolina
NY Jets 20-17 over Dallas
New England 35-20 over Miami
Oakland 17-14 over Denver