NFL preseason odds may not favor the Bengals to win the Super Bowl this season but they will also be one of the NFL gambling commodities that are considered to have playoff potential.
Cincinnati finished last year with a record of 10-6 straight up and 7-9 against the spread before losing in the playoffs to the upstart New York Jets. Defense was the key to Cincinnati’s success last year as they finished 4th overall in the NFL for total yardage permitted and 6th overall for points allowed.
Offense will be the big question mark and area in need of the biggest improvement heading into training camp as the Bengals finished 24th overall in total yards and 22nd in scoring.
Quarterback Carson Palmer had an erratic year in 2010 in which he finished with a quarterback rating of 83.6 and a 21/13 touchdown to interception ratio.
The offseason has not been without controversy as running back Cedric Benson was arrested in June for punching a bar employee in the face at Austin, Texas. This was not welcome news for a team that has had numerous discipline problems and run ins with the law in the past.
Benson has been emblematic of the Bengals image and legal woes, as he has had a history of legal woes. It is a sad chapter in a career that looked to be turning the corner last year as Benson ran for over 1200 yards and scored 6 touchdowns.
With the NFL cracking down on such incidents the question remains whether or not Benson will be suspended for part of the 2010 season.
The Bengals will have 5 preseason games rather than the standard 4 for 2010 beginning with an August 8 football betting matchup with the Dallas Cowboys. Coach Marvin Lewis will run a shorter training camp as a result.
One man that will be returning without suspension and plenty of colorful quotes will be wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, who led the Bengals with 1047 yards receiving and a team best 9 touchdowns last year. Ochocinco has been vocal in his confidence about the Bengals chances for 2010.
“The Ravens? What have they done? They had some draft picks, but do they have people that can come in and be effective? Last time I checked, we destroyed them,” said Ochocinco in regards to their division rivals from Baltimore.