1. Prisco picked the Bengals to win the Super Bowl. Is that a realistic expectation for this team? Why or why not?
After two consecutive postseason appearances with every starter virtually returning this season, there is a huge expectation that Cincinnati could take advantage of the misfortunes that some of the AFC powerhouses are facing this year. So they have every opportunity. But first things first; the Bengals have to win a playoff game, which they haven’t done since ’90.
2. Opinions on Andy Dalton seem to be all over the board. Do you are him developing into an elite QB?
As the starting quarterback, Dalton is 19-13 with two postseason appearances during his only seasons in the NFL. Only Dan Marino and Peyton Manning have thrown more touchdowns during the first two seasons of an NFL career than Dalton, who has also generated five fourth-quarter comebacks and seven game-winning drives.
Despite that, we could see where people would wage the elite debate. He has a fantastic receiver in A.J. Green and a good core of young receivers like Mohamed Sanu, Marvin Jones, and Andrew Hawkins, alongside tight ends Jermaine Gresham and now Tyler Eifert. He’s also made timely mistakes and when the offense is struggling to find their rhythm, Dalton isn’t necessarily a solution to get them out of their funk – in fact it’s usually the defense making a big play.
I’m not sure if elite will ever be associated with his name, and if not, that’s alright. He’s doing his part.
3. Pacman Jones is on your team. Does that make you feel a little bit dirty?
No, not really. I mean I get the question, and the history (especially with the Titans), but he’s a good cornerback and a hell of a play-maker as a punt returner. Beyond that, with the Bengals, he’s a role player at nickel who momentarily makes a stupid decision off the field every so often.
4. Who is one player we have never heard of that will have a big game?
We’re not sure how long the starters will play this weekend, but wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher had a big second half last week with 130 yards on special teams and offense combined. With Green and Andrew Hawkins not expected to play, Sanzenbacher will have more opportunities this weekend.
Backup linebacker J.K. Schaffer had a solid performance with the backup squads. There’s a training camp competition at safety with George Iloka having a distinct advantage – he’s a strong defender against the run, but we haven’t seen much of him in coverage. Even Josh Johnson and John Skelton were strong in the preseason debuts last week.
5. Is AJ Green 100%? How much will we see him in this game?
It would be extremely surprising if he played this weekend. Green fully participated in practice for the first time on Thursday after rehabilitating his bruised knee for the past three weeks. So he’s definitely 100 percent, but they’re targeting next week against the Dallas for his preseason debut.