Chad has always been the kind of guy where you have to take everything he says with a grain of salt. Having said that, I actually think he makes some pretty valid points. Maybe that’s my heart talking, but a lot of fans and pundits alike have been pretty quick to dismiss the Bengals this season citing Andy Dalton’s Good Andy/Bad Andy performances and the Bengals tough schedule. But keep in mind, we had a tough schedule last year too. And the year before that. And the year before that. This is the NFL. There really isn’t such thing as an easy schedule. Say what you want about the League’s handling of players beating their wives or deflated footballs or what have you, but of everything the NFL has gotten right the salary cap and the competitive balance within the League is second to none. There really isn’t that much of a difference between the best team in the league and the worst team in the league. Any given Sunday isn’t just the name of a movie. It’s tough to win games in the NFL, so I’m not buying that schedule crap. Maybe some of the Dalton hate is a bit warranted, but Andy has as good of a supporting cast as there is in football. Good enough to mask some of his shortcomings, not to mention that supporting cast along with Andy won ten games last year and the 2015 team on paper is better than that ten win squad from a year ago. Healthy Geno, healthy Marvin Jones, healthy Tyler Eifert, (hopefully) healthy Vontaze Burfict and AJ Green, along with the return of Michael Johnson and a solid draft class theoretically should be good enough to get this squad to the playoffs for the fifth straight year. As for that playoff win? Well, there’s a lotta football that still needs to be played. GOD DAMN I’m fired up now! Camp starts in T-minus 9 days.
PS- You can listen to Chad talk about the current Bengals and coaching staff as well as the 2005 team on the 2005 Bengals Podcast series with Paul Dehner Jr. It can get a little dry and straightforward at times, but Dehner did an excellent job of rounding up guests as well as getting some first hand perspectives from former players on that team. Solid listen if you have a couple hours to kill.