Originally posted on Bloguin Best  |  Last updated 8/19/13
Over the past decade, we’ve seen dominate teams rise from young rosters and star quarterbacks. As the NFL has become a more pass-centric league, there’s no reason that should stop. Right now, the dominate teams in the NFL seem to be the usual suspects. The Patriots, Broncos, Saints, Packers and the Steelers are all led by veteran stars that carry their teams. Other teams like the 49ers and Seahawks were surprise successes a year ago and are led by young quarterbacks. That raises the question, who will be the next team to break through as a consistent contender. Despite operating out of a difficult division, the Cincinnati Bengals finally have an opportunity in the AFC North to make it big. The Baltimore Ravens took significant roster hits this offseason, and the Pittsburgh Steelers were unable to significantly update their defense. The Bengals aren’t just in the right place at the right time either. They have all the pieces needed to build a successful football team that could persist for years to come. Marvin Lewis, the team’s veteran head coach, has been through the good and the bad of the Bengals, and he’s well-equipped to handle nearly any football related situation that may arise. The next big checklist item, a great young quarterback, is also present in Cincinnati. Andy Dalton doesn’t have the league’s biggest arm, but he’s able to efficiently distribute the football to a number of targets around the field. His decision making keeps the defense off balance, and because he moves the ball around the field well, it’s difficult for the defense to shut the offense down by blanketing any one guy. In addition to Dalton, the Bengals have weapons for Dalton to play with. BenJarvus Green-Ellis gives the team a legitimate running threat while A.J. Green and tight end Jermaine Gresham open up the passing game as consistent targets. Finally, the Bengals have assembled a great defense, and they’ve done so relatively quietly. While the group doesn’t headline any huge names, it functions just as a defense should — a unit. The Bengals force opponents into making mistakes with a solid pass rush that compliments their offense’s style of play. Unlike many other young teams in the NFL, the Bengals have a solid roster through and through. The team still has to find a way to become more consistent, especially against some of the better teams in the league, but all the pieces are present to make the Bengals the next long-term, dominant team in the NFL. [follow]
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

CC Sabathia not worried about booze-fueled celebrations

Bill Belichick defers Aaron Hernandez CTE, lawsuit questions

Brady claims sunburn can be avoided by drinking a lot of water

Knicks expect Carmelo Anthony to open camp with team

Irving was late to meeting with Stevens after car broke down

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ezekiel Elliott: Cowboys don’t play for ‘the talking heads’

Todd Gurley says Rams believe they can win Super Bowl

Seven players who stood out in Rams' thrilling win over 49ers

Rams WRs Sammy Watkins, Tavon Austin evaluated for concussions

Alec Ogletree throws 49ers player to the ground

WATCH: Pierre Garcon tips his toes for beautiful highlight reel catch

WNBA Finals preview: Lynx look for revenge against Sparks

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: The home runs just keep on coming

Building on the NFL's positive changes beyond 2017

NFL Week 3 predictions

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

College football 2017 Week 4 predictions

10 teams that can unseat the Warriors in 2018

NFL Referee Hotline: Mike McCarthy is sick of these calls

The 'Kevin Durant has mad (Twitter) handles' quiz

Baseball's most underwhelming teams of 2017

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

WNBA Finals preview: Lynx look for revenge against Sparks

Three Up, Three Down: The home runs just keep on coming

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Building on the NFL's positive changes beyond 2017

NFL Week 3 predictions

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

10 teams that can unseat the Warriors in 2018

College football 2017 Week 4 predictions

NFL Referee Hotline: Mike McCarthy is sick of these calls

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker