April 17, 2014

What Is “Success” In 2011?

Most NFL fans would say that their team had a successful season if their team made the playoffs. Some might draw the line at a playoff win, but being one of the best 12 teams in the league (except for the Seahawks last year) is generally enough to make fans happy with their team.

But the Bengals are no ordinary team. And 2011 is no ordinary season for them.

They are a team at the front end of a major overhaul. The #1 QB is a rookie who has been working with his coaches for less than 3 weeks. The top two receivers have 3 starts between them. The talent pool is deep but raw. An OK offensive line is returning with no improvement other than Andre Smith’s loss of weight. An OK defense is still searching for its mojo.

Given those considerations, where do you draw the line for “success” in the 2011 season? What would it take for this team to exceed your expectations enough to say “these guys just might do something next year” come January?

Most talking heads are putting the expectations pretty low, dropping the Bengals to the bottom of their preseason power rankings. (As if those things mean a darn thing.) But I expect those east coast blowhards to do that. I am far more interested in what you think.

For me, a guy who figures this team will win 3 or 4 games, I would call 6 wins in 2011 a successful season. For the Bengals to end up 6-10, they would have gone at least 2-2 in the first four games of the season (@CLE, @DEN, SF, BUF); snitched 2 or 3 more wins from the Jags, Seahawks, Titans, Browns, or Rams; and then capped the season with a suprising home win over the Ravens.

I am not saying this scenario is probable by any means. This team could find lead instead of gold at every turn, going 1-15 and ripping out our hearts every week all season long. But if young talent rises to the challenge, and the football gods smile a little, fans could be pleasantly surprised to see this team far away from the Andrew Luck sweepstakes and picking a lineman or a game-changing safety in the first round of the 2012 draft instead. Wouldn’t that be nice?

So tell me, what would the Bengals have to do for you to call 2011 a success?

Comments

  1. Boomer Lion says:

    This team has a lot of potential and not a lot of proven talent; some of that potential will pan out and some will not. If they can separate the wheat from the chaff this year so that we can enter next year’s free agency and draft with a clear picture of our needs, I will consider this season to have been a good one.

    By the end of this year, we should be able to make a cut-or-keep decision with Dalton, Simpson, Caldwell, Cosby, Whalen, Coffman, Lindsay, R. Nelson, T. Nelson, Sims, McDonald, Shirley, V. Rey, Skuta, Hudson, Stephens, Ghee, Trent, Sands, Moch, Collins, Roland, Livings, and A. Smith. Not to mention our new FAs and the collection of CFAs we have accumulated.

    If we suck this year, we suck this year… it certainly won’t be the first (nor last) crash-and-burn Bengals season I watch. But by the time the league year starts next year I’d really like to lock up the good ones, cut the bad ones and set ourselves up to improve by leaps and bounds next off season.

    That being said, I think we’re not in quite the rancid condition everyone thinks we are. This is a young, hungry team with a shiny new OC and a DC that has a lot to prove. We’re going to give people a chance this year to surprise us, and I think that will pay dividends for us. The fact that we open the season with those particular four teams means that we could build confidence and swagger.

    I’m looking forward to an exciting season, for better or worse.

  2. Johnny says:

    Until the Bengals learn the trenches are what makes “everything” work they will never be good. Whats the point of a new QB and WR when the problem is they can’t pass block to save their life. This is a passing league. If the opponents CBs only have to cover for 3 seconds tops before our QB gets sacked why not jam them on the line of scrimmage every single time? This basically makes it impossible for our team to ever get ahead early on because we can’t have any big plays. I could go on and on but I htink this season we are destined for our old bungles ways. I will say 4-12 this year IF we are lucky.

  3. Lee says:

    I consider 6-8 wins a success for this team. The key will be our defense, it will have to carry the load. Few times in history has a rookie or young QB and WR come in and contributed enough to sustain early success. I think they get better as the year goes on. I can see this team gettiing beat bad several times this year though. But hell you never know.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] relying on their rookie draft picks, QB Andy Dalton and receiver A.J. Green, to lead their team. On WhoDeyFans, “success” for the Bengals is defined as defying their already meager expe…: For me, a guy who figures this team will win 3 or 4 games, I would call 6 wins in 2011 a [...]