Trending up: Bengals

Trending up: Bengals
May 6, 2013, 9:30 am
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Sounds like you should get ready to hear a lot about the Bengals for the rest of this off-season.

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com writes that he’s getting the vibe that Cincinnati will turn into the conventional-wisdom pick to be a big contender in 2013. Not that he’s necessarily sold on the Bengals.

“The Bengals are going to be a trendy team to make major noise this year,” he writes. “I love the Bengals' overall talent; they have done a fantastic job drafting in recent years. I just don't love the quarterback [Andy Dalton]. … There also should be a concern people are looking past the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC North.”

By the way, about that draft: The Football  Outsiders compiled the draft grades by eight respected sources, and the Bengals came out second in the league on average (the 49ers were first, the Ravens third).

Now, as for being a trendy pick, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Ravens were something of one last off-season, which did work out, of course. However, that could also be why they came in for so much criticism during the season. Even when they were winning, the Ravens weren’t meeting expectations. And then when they went through a rough patch, many ankles were sprained by people jumping off the bandwagon.

So keep an eye (ear?) on what you hear about the Bengals, both heading into the season and then the reaction to what they do during the season, particularly if they stumble. That’s the thing about being trendy — at some point, you go out of style.