SI.com’s Don Banks previewed the AFC North and didn’t predict anything rosy for the Bengals. How could he? One particular point rings especially true:
I’m having a hard time finding a team in the AFC with more challenges headed its way in 2011 than the Bengals.
Banks has a point. What other AFC team will be starting a rookie quarterback on Opening Day? Probably none, unless Blaine Gabbert somehow steals the job in Jacksonville.
Add a new offensive coordinator to that mix. And subtract two cornerstones of the franchise who are gone this year.
The Bengals are not devoid of talent, we all know that. But you can’t blame Banks or anyone else for predicting an abysmal season.
Perhaps the Bengals can shock the world. Perhaps they can serve as a Buster Douglas (Columbus, Ohio shout-out!) to all the Mike Tysons on their schedule. Perhaps they can surprise a number of teams, catch a few breaks, and sneak into the playoffs.
I wouldn’t count on it. In fact, I’d expect the opposite.
But man, wouldn’t that be sweet?
A boy can dream can’t he?